After more than three months, BP appears finally to have gotten a firm grasp on its runaway Deepwater Horizon well. Now the big question in the Gulf of Mexico is how, and if, an environmental mess of unprecedented scope can be cleaned up.
Only last week did federal spill managers begin discussing with state and parish leaders in Louisiana, the hardest hit state, how to set the standards for declaring the nation's largest offshore oil spill officially mopped up.
"How do we get to the inevitable question of how clean is clean?" said retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the Obama administration's point man on the spill.