Gulf Oil Spill
6:45 pm
Wed September 22, 2010

NOAA Says Oil Plumes Breaking Apart

New Orleans, La. – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is testing water quality in areas where researchers found an oil plume 22 miles long. Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution based their report on testing done in June near BP's oil spill. That gushing line was closed off in July. NOAA scientist Sam Walker says more recent testing shows the oil breaking apart.

"We're going back and revisiting a lot of the areas where these early cruises were done and we are not finding the concentrations that they found. The subsurface oil that's indicated there is much more dispersed."

NOAA continues to reopen Gulf areas for commercial fishing. Critics say too little testing has been done, and the public isn't convinced Gulf seafood is safe to eat.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.