WASHINGTON — The cleanup of the Alaskan oil spill will not be finished this year, Adm. Paul Yost, the U.S. Coast Guard commandant, said today.
"As for the cleanup, it's progressing well," Yost told the Senate Commerce Committee, but added: "I don't think we will have a complete cleanup this year."
The oil spill, the worst in U.S. history, occurred March 24 when the tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground near the port of Valdez and 10 million gallons of crude oil leaked from the ship.
Yost, put in charge of the cleanup by President Bush, said oil had soaked into the beaches near the spill and would have to be removed. He said it might take five years before all the oil was gone through natural processes.