Cleanup Slow Going in Norway Spill

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

That question of whether oil can be cleaned up in icy waters is getting a real world test in Norway right now. Last week, a container ship ran aground off Norway’s southern coast, near a nature preserve. It was carrying about 200,000 gallons of fuel oil.

Frieda  Bengtsson is an oceans campaigner for Greenpeace in Oslo. She spent the day Thursday with the Norweigian Coast Guard at the clean-up site. She says it’s shocking how slow the clean up process is.

Bengtsson says two days of snowfall has made it impossible to find much of the oil.

Because the spill happened near a nature refuge, birds, seal pups and other animals have been impacted by the oil. Bengtsson says the cold weather is making it difficult to handle sea birds that have been affected.

Bengtsson says the area is rich in unique cold water coral reefs. She says its unknown how they will be affected by the oil, but March is a critical time for the coral.

Bengtsson says the Norwegian Coast Guard says they are learning how to best clean up the oil as they go. She says this is the first significant oil spill in ice covered waters in Norway.

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