Special Report: The Long Term Oil Spill Jobs Come Into View

This is one in a series of posts to wrap up Hinton Human Capital’s coverage of the Deep Horizon Oil Spill. While all of us are still hurting for the animals and people of the gulf coast who were impacted by this tragedy, the capped well is a good signal that the healing process has started. It is my sincere hope that many people were influenced to make environmental clean up and protection their new career of choice to fight the spills of the future.

What’s Next?

Once the oil well is fully capped and the relief well is in production, we should expect a major ramp up of clean up operations to begin. When I say “major” I mean that I expect more people and equipment to get involved in the clean up process to get the spill cleaned up as quickly and thoroughly as possible. The ripple effect of the activity will continue to create temporary jobs for the gulf coast economy. When the cleanup has reached a point of conclusion (where the government, scientists and the responsible party agree the cleanup has reached a point to stop), the “shovel based” cleanup jobs will wind down and the restoration and monitoring focused jobs will start appearing. These jobs will go forward for a long time and may require people with specialized skills.  Let me explain further.

20 Years and Counting?

The Exxon Valdez oil spill restoration projects have been going forward for over 20 years. Teams of biologists, toxicologists, field sampling and wildlife survey crews routinely go out to the Prince William Sound spill area to monitor the recovery of wild life and plant populations as well as check on degradation of  the oil that was left behind. Read More Here According to the latest information from the Oil Spill Trustee Committee, it may take centuries for the left over oil to degrade completely.

Long Term Gulf Oil Spill Recovery Jobs

The recovery projects for the gulf coast may not be much different but the companies and governments involved will look for ways to accelerate the recovery process wherever possible. In the gulf coast clean up Environmental Engineers will deploy sustainable oil clean up techniques such as bioremediation and phytoremediation in the hard-to-clean areas. These techniques use local microorganisms and plants which use constituents of oil in the metabolic processes and break down its molecules in to harmless natural compounds.  It has been widely publicized that the Exxon Valdez clean up workers developed illnesses after their experience. The one difference  between the Exxon Valdez Spill and Deep Horizon that may happen is that Environmental Health professionals will continue to  monitor the health of the cleanup workers for a number of years after the spill. Oil exposure can cause a number of different illnesses. Some will take years to develop and treat. 

Sound Off

  1. Has the oil spill made you consider an environmental career? Why or Why not?
  2. What do you think the oil spill workers should do after the spill is cleaned up?
  3. What should be done to stimulate job growth after the cleanup stops?

Further Reading

3 Environmental Certifications That Help Oil Spill Workers


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