Exxon valdez oil spill

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Consequences of the Valdez Oil-Spill

Consequences of the Exxon-Valdez oil spill were varied, and although mostly negative, some positive did come out of the disaster. Firstly, the environment wasseverely harmed in the area, the Valdez economy suffered and yet also greatly profited from the necessary clean-up. On top of this, the spill indirectly resulted in social tensions and some politicalproblems.
The environment was harmed in what people might call the normal way after the wreck of an oil tanker: Beaches were contaminated, Seabirds, otters, eagles and fish were killed either bydirect intoxication or indirectly by lack of food (the “food” being killed by the oil). Over 2500 km of shoreline was covered in a fine layer of oil, which was only partially removed and with greatdifficulty, and not without harm to the environment: chemicals were used in an attempt to dissolve the oil and power jets, which consume energy, were also used to attempt lifting the oil. These cleansingoperations, as well as being ineffective, only cleaned the beaches temporarily: as soon as the next tide came in, the area was contaminated once again. Other damage to the environment resulted from thecleanup operation: buildings for the workers needed to be built, destroying trees and other natural habitats in the process. Some 50 000 tons of toxic waste were created by the clean up, with manybags of oil waste needing to be disposed of- they were incinerated, polluting the atmosphere as well as the land. In effect this clean up could be considered to have done more harm than good to theenvironment, being organised for the sole purpose of pleasing the media, and not helping the environment; 60% of the oil was left in the nature and the clean-up work stopped as soon as the media lostinterest, 6 months later.
The economic consequences were varied in that they were both arguably positive and negative. Firstly, the fishing companies in the area had to close down due to contaminated...