Gulf Scene Investigation: Oil Analysis Video Documents the NRDA Sampling Process

One year after the Deepwater BP oil spill, state and federal agency-led partners have collected almost 30,000 Natural Resource Damage Assessment samples to determine the impacts to the Gulf’s natural resources. It’s an unprecedented number of samples compared to any other U.S. oil spill.

Scientists have been collecting thousands of plant, animal, soil, and water samples to help them determine the extent of restoration the parties responsible for the spill must implement to fully compensate the American public.

As such, the samples must be handled with the utmost care and precision. After being collected in the field, the samples get shipped directly to labs around the country for analysis.  In fact, every step in the entire process follows strict procedures for collection, extraction, analysis and review. This ensures that the results are accurate, and that we have a complete understanding of the impacts of the spill. Currently, more than 18,000 of these analyses have been validated.

In our latest video, we go inside the lab to get a better understanding of how samples are analyzed, what scientists are looking for, and what happens to the data.