Environment News

Deepwater Leaking?

March 20, 2012

Nearly two years after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, pilot Bonny Schumaker is still seeing what looks like oil streaming from the Deepwater Horizon site.

“It didn’t take any time at all to find large streaks of oil,” she said after a recent flight over the well off the coast of Louisiana.

Schumaker is a pilot with the environmental non-profit On Wings of Care. She has flown regular flights over the Deepwater Horizon site.

Reports of new oil leaking into the Gulf began surfacing last summer, though BP has denied such. An LSU scientist fingerprinted a sample of the oil to the Macando well in the fall, but theorized that it had probably been trapped in the sunk rigging. With regular sightings persisting, that theory might not be holding water.

Based in California, Schumaker said she will be returning to the Gulf region at the end of March to further investigate the oil sightings, as well as taking a look at what might be happening on the Gulf floor—some fear the floor may be fractured and seeping an unusually high amount of oil. She said she will be participating with a group of researchers sending down a remote submersible.

“We’ll have some real answers here soon,” Schumaker said. “—soon, maybe in a month.”

The pilot said she’s not a “muckraker.”

“I’m not trying to make trouble, I just want to know the facts,” she said.

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