Millions of pounds of unexploded bombs deposited in the Gulf of Mexico after World War II are posing a threat to offshore drilling, Texas oceanographers say.
The United States and other governments disposed of munitions and chemical weapons in the oceans until the practice was banned by federal law and international treaties in the 1970s. Now, as technology allows oil companies to drill deeper in the Gulf waters, the forgotten weapons are being discovered again, including in the offshore zone where the Macondo well was drilled and blew out in 2010.
Nearly 70 years after the federal government dumped this weaponry into designated areas off the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts, there is little information on how much is there, where it all is and if there is a danger to human and marine life, said oceanography professor William Bryant.
Texas A&M University researcher will discuss his findings at the International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions coverence in Puerto Rico.