Report: Sunken WWII ships may pollute US waters

This May, 14, 1942, U. S. Army Air Corps photograph, provided by the National Archives, College Park, Md., shows the burning tanker Potrero del Llano, a Mexican ship heading to New York that was sunk on May 14, 1942 by a German U-boat, about 15 miles southeast of Miami’s Biscayne Bay. It carried about 1.8 million gallons of oil aboard. A new government report details 87 shipwrecks that could pollute U.S. waters with oil. Most were sunk during World War II. The potential for pollution is less than scientists had expected. They estimate that far less oil will leak into the ocean than the BP oil spill of 2010, which spewed roughly 200 million gallons into the Gulf of Mexico alone. However, six leaks are considered potentially significant coastal pollution problems. Study author Lisa Symons said Monday those six keep her up at night. Five are off the Florida coast, one just 15 miles from shore. (AP Photo/National Archives, College Park, Md)
This May, 14, 1942, U. S. Army Air Corps photograph, provided by the National Archives, College Park, Md., shows the burning tanker Potrero del Llano, a Mexican ship heading to New York that was sunk on May 14, 1942 by a German U-boat, about 15 miles southeast of Miami’s Biscayne Bay. It carried about 1.8 million gallons of oil aboard. A new government report details 87 shipwrecks that could pollute U.S. waters with oil. Most were sunk during World War II. The potential for pollution is less than scientists had expected. They estimate that far less oil will leak into the ocean than the BP oil spill of 2010, which spewed roughly 200 million gallons into the Gulf of Mexico alone. However, six leaks are considered potentially significant coastal pollution problems. Study author Lisa Symons said Monday those six keep her up at night. Five are off the Florida coast, one just 15 miles from shore. (AP Photo/National Archives, College Park, Md)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new government report details 87 shipwrecks that could pollute U.S. waters with oil. Most were sunk during World War II.

The potential for pollution is less than scientists had expected. They estimate that far less oil will leak into the ocean than the BP oil spill of 2010, which spewed roughly 200 million gallons into the Gulf of Mexico alone.

However, six leaks are considered potentially significant coastal pollution problems. Study author Lisa Symons said Monday those six keep her up at night. Five are off the Florida coast, one just 15 miles from shore.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which did the report doesn’t know exactly where half the shipwrecks are.

The government agency is studying whether oil can be removed from some vessels before they leak.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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