The Times is reporting that the government will announce Wednesday that three quarters of the oil from the BP spill has “already been evaporated, dispersed, been captured or otherwise eliminated,” and that the rest is so diluted that it doesn’t pose much of a risk. The government report states that about 26 percent of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon leak is still in the water or on shore and, while it technically could cause new damage, most of it is “light sheen at the ocean surface” or a “dispersed form” below the surface — and in both locations the oil is “breaking down rapidly.”
So, does this really mean the whole mess is just … over? Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversaw the report, seems to say so: “There’s absolutely no evidence that there’s any significant concentration of oil that’s out there that we haven’t accounted for,” she said. Of course, while the news seems almost too good to be true, still unknown is the extent of the destruction already incurred to the wildlife and environment. Thousands of birds and animals are known to have been injured or killed by the spill, and damage to organisms like fish, crabs, and shrimp “may not become clear for a year or longer,” the Times says.