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Peat from northern Minnesota could soak up Gulf oil spill

Could Minnesota peat be used to soak up the oil in the Gulf spill? U.S. Rep.

Could Minnesota peat be used to soak up the oil in the Gulf spill? U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, who hails from northern Minnesota and its peat fields, has asked the Coast Guard to think about it.

Oberstsar toured the Gulf spill recently and now has suggested the absortent solution, says the Star Tribune’s politics blog.

His letter last week to U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen suggests that material from Minnesota might be helpful.

The paper says Oberstar staffers have worked with Ferweda General Contracting, from Angora, Minn., which uses peat in a product that absorbs oil, but not water:

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Company head Gene Ferweda’s says his product has been used on the Great Lakes to clean up oil spills and could be of use on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It got the blessing of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) four years ago, government records show.

An October, 2006, letter to Ferweda from the EPA recommends that the “A+ Absorbent” be contained in a pillow or boom when used in open water spills.