July 21, 1999

Randy Smith
Office Of Water
USEPA Region X
1200 6th Ave
Seattle WA 98101

Dear Mr. Smith;
In 1973, the EPA published a preliminary study entitled Interaction between Marine Organisms and Oil Pollution. (EOA-R3-73-042 May 1973). A copy of this document resides in EPA Region X library.

According to the study, marine oil pollution is likely to interfere with many processess of marine oganisms including attraction of the sexes, inter and intra species recognition, finding food, and short and long distance migration. The study concluded, among other things, that oil pollution may be more damaging through its long term low level effects than through the gross immediate damage of an oil spill.

This document recommended more exensive study, due to the potential environmental significance of long term dilute oil pollution. We would like to know what followup studies have been done, and current EPA thinking regarding the effect of low levels of oil pollution on marine life.

Please contact me directly if you are able to provide such information.


Rodger A. Herbst
Pollution and Health Committee
Washington Environmental Council

Dave Mann
Washington Environmental Council