ALS Tribology eSource
November 2010

Environmental Image ALS Environmental Aids in Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup
by Joe Credeur, Laboratory Manager
ALS Environmental, Houston, Texas

On April 30, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in offshore waters south of New Orleans, Louisiana, exploded, causing one of the world's largest oil spills. The disaster has impacted the shores of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, along with the lives of thousands of Gulf Coast residents.

Following the oil spill, ALS Environmental was awarded a contract to perform testing for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The contract includes analytical services in Region IV (Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida) through Tetra Tech, the consultant for the EPA and a valued client of ALS.

Scientists have estimated that five million barrels of oil leaked from the well and only 880,000 barrels have been collected to date. In addition to the leaking oil, an unprecedented amount of oil dispersants have been used to break up the oil. More than one million gallons of the chemical dispersant Corexit 9500 have been sprayed aerially and injected at the location of the leaking oil well.

To accommodate the client's needs, ALS set up a sample receipt depot in Mobile, Alabama and set up new methods for analysis of Alkyl PAHs and dispersant compounds. The ALS Houston team quickly mobilized, sending employees and sample container supplies to the depot location in Mobile. The talented laboratory staff at ALS Houston developed the new Alkyl PAH methods while the ALS Salt Lake City staff developed methods for analyzing the dispersant compounds.

The project has truly been a team effort involving several ALS locations in USA and Canada. Sally Roan, Director of Sales and Marketing in North America, sold the project with help from Claudia Stull, who specializes in DoD sector business development. Houston Technical Sales Representative, Jeff Croston. played a major role in the set-up of the depot in Mobile and trained the ALS employees that are working hard to service the client.

The tremendous dedication of the production staff led by the USA Technical Director, Hoai Van, has been vital to the success of this ongoing project. A lot was asked of this group in a very short amount of time. The effort has been an excellent example of how the ALS Environmental team in North America performs in ALS True Blue fashion.

ALS locations in North America have very dedicated employees who make themselves readily available to analyze samples for this project. Our client has expressed great appreciation, specifically to the Houston and Salt Lake City locations for the level of commitment to this project. As a result of the tremendous technical leadership and performance in Region IV, ALS was recently awarded a contract to aid in the testing program for EPA Region VI (Louisiana and Texas) through another valued ALS client.

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