The Green Blog

Oil dispersants lingering

January 31, 2011

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Excerpts from the Globe’s environmental blog.

It’s been a question ever since nearly 800,000 gallons of chemical dispersants were injected below the Gulf of Mexico surface to break up the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill: What happened to them?

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution chemist Elizabeth B. Kujawinski and colleagues have released a study showing that a key dispersant component was lingering in a deep-sea oil and gas plume three months after the dispersants were used. The discovery is prompting other questions such as: How well did the dispersants do their job to break up the oil and what effects have they had on the gulf’s sensitive marine environment?

“We found that it didn’t go away, and that was somewhat surprising,’’ Kujawinski said in a statement. She led a team that also included scientists from University of California Santa Barbara.

The study, which appears online in Environmental Science & Technology, is the first peer-reviewed research to be published on the Gulf of Mexico’s dispersants, according to the American Chemical Society and Kujawinski.

Beth Daley

Groups oppose LNG plan Opponents of the Fall River liquefied natural gas terminal proposed by Hess are trying to persuade regional governments to divest their municipal and state retirement funds of the company’s stock.

The Rhode Island-based LNG Working Group and the Massachusetts-based Coalition for the Responsible Siting of LNG have delivered information packets about divestiture to town councils in the two states.

“We are urging local governments to understand that by holding Hess stock they are reassuring the Hess’s board of directors that everything is fine. We are trying to send a message that we, in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, are washing our hands of the company as long as they continue to push this project forward,’’ said Chris Gray, chairman of the LNG Working Group, in a statement.

Weaver’s Cove Energy, the Hess-owned company proposing the terminal, issued a statement saying it “remains committed to designing, constructing, and operating the safest and most secure LNG terminal possible. Our project will represent an approximately $700 million investment, create over 1,000 direct and indirect jobs, and bring more than $400 million of economic benefits to one of the most economically depressed regions of the country.’’

The move comes two months after Rhode Island-based Save the Bay published an ad in The Wall Street Journal, addressed to Hess shareholders, calling it a flawed proposal.

Beth Daley

Farm share fairs Interested in getting a community-supported agriculture share, but have lingering questions?

Cambridge/Somerville and Arlington are hosting community-supported agriculture fairs where people can meet representatives from local farms and learn more about their shares. Community-supported agriculture shares vary — compare the day of the week they deliver, season length, and pick-up location. For those who live farther away, community-supported agriculture programs can be found by searching Local Harvest’s CSA map at Many farm shares in the Boston region fill up quickly.

The Cambridge/Somerville fair is Feb. 3, 5:30-8:30 p.m., at the Democracy Center, 45 Mt. Auburn St. The Arlington fair is Feb. 24, 4:30-7:30 p.m., at Park Avenue Congregational Church, 50 Paul Revere Road.

Dara Olmsted