Expert: Atlantic Safe From Oil Spread

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) – A University of Maryland researcher says that barring a hurricane or strong storm, mid-Atlantic beaches should be safe from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Jim Carton, chairman of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science at the University of Maryland, says the Gulf stream heads away from the continental shelf after Cape Hatteras. And that means oil carried by the stream should be carried away from the coasts of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. Carton says oil from the spill could be off Maryland's coast in less than three weeks.

Wes Tunnell Jr., associate director of Texas A&M's Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, says any tar balls that reach the mid-Atlantic would very weathered and without many of crude oil's most volatile and toxic components.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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