BP continues to note that plumes from its Gulf oil leak are either non-existent or too small to be problematic.

But this discussion of plumes is actually a distraction. What matters more is what are the chemicals in the water, where are they, and where they are going.

The term plume is pretty generic really, and could refer to concentrated masses of oil and/or to regions of the sea that have certain concentrations of chemicals resulting from the leak. A plume in this context is basically a regions of concentration levels of certain chemicals that are higher than the surroundings. Some concentration measurements have to be done, and then we will have data for helping understand the damages.

BP’s attorneys would love to allow the discussion to go on about plumes, as this means that later, they could argue for many billable hours about what a plume is.  That these attorneys appear to have no understanding of these issues does not matter. They assume, they advise, they get paid by the hour, and they do their job as they perceive it, regardless of the ultimate consequences to BP.