Oil Pollution

by Christian Meriweather

Figures and reasons

Down the Drain: 363 Million Gallons

    Used engine oil can end up in waterways. An average oil change uses five quarts; one change can contaminate a million gallons of fresh water. Much oil in runoff from land and municipal and industrial wastes ends up in the oceans. 363 million gallons

    Road runoff adds up
    Every year oily road runoff from a city of 5 million could contain as much oil as one large tanker spill

    Routine Maintenance: 137 Million Gallons

    Every year, bilge cleaning and other ship operations release millions of gallons of oil into navigable waters, in thousands of discharges of just a few gallons each. 137 million gallons

    Up in Smoke: 92 Million Gallons

    Air pollution, mainly from cars and industry, places hundreds of tons of hydrocarbons into the oceans each year. Particles settle, and rain washes hydrocarbons from the air into the oceans .

    Natural Seeps: 62 Million Gallons

    Some ocean oil "pollution" is natural. Seepage from the ocean bottom and eroding sedimentary rocks releases oil.

    Big Spills: 37 Million Gallons

    Only about 5 percent of oil pollution in oceans is due to major tanker accidents, but one big spill can disrupt sea and shore life for miles. 37 million gallons



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