Feds approve undersea use of chemical dispersants

Federal regulators have approved the use of a technique to fight the ballooning oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico by shooting chemical dispersants 5,000 feet beneath the sea.

The chemicals break apart the oil and keep it from reaching the surface.

U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry said Friday that three previous tests were conducted on the technique at the leak site.

She says scientists with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration got enough data to approve its use.

Landry says, however, that the "unprecedented" deep-sea injections of dispersants have not yet been used, aside from the three tests. She says officials are taking time to study the

The EPA did not immediately comment.

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