Several prominent oceanographers are claiming that the government is failing to conduct an adequate scientific analysis of the damage and allowing BP to block the spill’s true size and scope.
The scientists point out that in the month since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, the government has failed to make public a single test result on water from the deep ocean.
And the scientists say the administration has been too reluctant to demand an accurate analysis of how many gallons of oil are flowing into the sea from the gushing oil well.
Rick Steiner, a marine biologist and a veteran of the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, assailed NOAA in an interview, declaring that it had been derelict in analyzing conditions beneath the sea.
Mr. Steiner said the likelihood of extensive undersea plumes of oil droplets should have been anticipated from the moment the spill began, given that such an effect from deepwater blowouts had been predicted in the scientific literature.
An extensive sampling program to map and characterize those plumes should have been put in place from the first days of the spill, he said.