BP was recently given a record fine for mistakes that caused a major oil leak in the Gulf. But there are other threats, besides CEO mistakes, lurking in the deep waters out there.
After World War II, the US government dumped their unexploded bombs into the Gulf of Mexico (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show). The US wasn't the only country that did this--many governments dumped their unexploded ordinance into oceans and lakes, from 1946 up until the 1970s, when an international treaty made this illegal.
The US designated certain areas around its coastlines for the safe dumping of explosives, nerve gas and mustard gas. The problem is that the records of exactly WHERE these munitions were dumped are incomplete, probably because (as many experts believe) a lot of it was dumped outside designated areas. Now that oil companies are drilling deep sea wells into the Gulf, those forgotten payloads have become a real hazard, since no one has any idea where the bombs are, exactly how many were dumped, or if they still pose a threat to humans or marine life (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show too).
On the Oil Price website, Joao Peixe quotes oceanographer William Bryant as saying, "Bombs are a threat today and no one knows how to deal with the situation. If chemical agents are leaking from some of them, that's a real problem. If many of them are still capable of exploding, that's another big problem."
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