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The Nation

Nature’s forces could clean up most of the Alaska oil spill in 5 to 10 years, researchers at a conference sponsored by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and other agencies said in Seattle. Tidal action, erosion and oil-eating microbes would do the job, said John H. Vandermeulen, a researcher at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography at Halifax, Nova Scotia. This contradicts statements last week by Coast Guard Vice Adm. Clyde Robbins, on-site coordinator of cleanup efforts, that the beaches soiled by the spill “are never going to be clean.”


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