Rena: Oil clean-up chemical worries Greenpeace

Hundreds of employees and volunteers work to clean up the oil spill caused by Rena.

Hundreds of employees and volunteers work to clean up the oil spill caused by Rena.

Originally published by New Zealand Herald.

Greenpeace has called on authorities to answer “serious questions” over the chemical used to disperse oil from the Rena, after a top environmental adviser yesterday admitted scientists were “in the dark” about its effects.

Maritime New Zealand sprayed about 200 litres of Corexit 9500, the chemical used during the large spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year, to try to break down oil from the Rena in the early days of the disaster.

Authorities eventually scrapped the operation after it proved ineffective against oil floating on water.

Its use sparked outrage among environmental groups, some scientists and veterans of the gulf spill.

One United States resident describing it as a “toxic chemical soup” that fouled seabed habitats in shallow water.

Many Tauranga residents have also voiced concern and at one public meeting last month, some shouted “it’s banned overseas” as Environment Minister Nick Smith defended its use.

Greenpeace has called on authorities to answer “serious questions” over the chemical used to disperse oil from the Rena, after a top environmental adviser yesterday admitted scientists were “in the dark” about its effects.

Maritime New Zealand sprayed about 200 litres of Corexit 9500, the chemical used during the large spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year, to try to break down oil from the Rena in the early days of the disaster.

Authorities eventually scrapped the operation after it proved ineffective against oil floating on water.

Its use sparked outrage among environmental groups, some scientists and veterans of the gulf spill.

One United States resident describing it as a “toxic chemical soup” that fouled seabed habitats in shallow water.

Many Tauranga residents have also voiced concern and at one public meeting last month, some shouted “it’s banned overseas” as Environment Minister Nick Smith defended its use….

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