State and federal officials evaluated a test by Exxon-paid workers of an environmentally risky method to clean rocks blackened by the March 24 Alaska oil spill. Meanwhile, oil from the more than 10-million-gallon spill, mostly in the form of tar balls and mousse-like foam, threatened Homer and other fishing ports in Cook Inlet. But with winds mainly from the south, there was no sign of oil advancing toward Kodiak Island and rich crab waters nearby, Coast Guard Lt. Jim Madden said. The test of cleanup methods on blackened rocks in Prince William Sound included high-pressure, hot-water sprayers, which are effective in removing oil but upend rocks, strip away sand and gravel and kill beach life. Scientists say it takes up to two years for life to return to the sterilized shore.
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