Yesterday, the Gulf Coast Incident Management Team released a report from its interagency Operational Science Advisory Team 2 regarding oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill that remains on or near sandy beaches along the Gulf Coast left not only the Gulf Coast residents questioning but the Gulf of Mexico as well (left picture).
Federal officials indicate that cleanup operation from the Deepwater Horizon/Gulf of Mexcio oil spill have removed as much oil as is practical from the Gulf coast states by examining data sampled from four representative beaches at Grand Isle, La., Petit Bois Island, Miss., Bon Secour, Ala., and Fort Pickens, Fla.
This report is inconclusive as the oil reached much further East then Fort Pickens, FL and leached into areas such as Navarre and Destin, the later representing a huge tourist industry which has suffered greatly at the hands of big oil as well as are still seeing the effects of the oil and dispersant in their waterways and rolling onto their beaches.
Essentially, the report is intended to inform ongoing beach-area clean up operations by examining the environmental and human health risks posed by three types of remnant oil – tar mats in the shallow water, small tar balls on the shore and buried oil on beaches above the high tide line – that may remain in certain beach areas after standard clean up operations are completed. These risks are compared to the potential environmental impacts of pursuing additional cleanup operations.
Please note how they did not include oil/dispersant in the water column nor the long term affects of the toxic corexit dispersant that they used to weigh down the oil so that it would drop into the water column, out of the public’s view.
Further, the report states that oil damaged areas are “minimal”.
Are they kidding? Is this some kind of cruel joke? Living off the Gulf,
I can assure that the oil and toxic Corexit dispersant is still very much here.
Just because BP sunk the oil into the water column, doesn’t mean that it disappeared. In fact, it’s quite the opposite as now the oil has less of a chance been weathered by the sun and wind.
The report titled, “Summary Report for Fate and Effects of Remnant Oil in the Beach Environment” was drafted by the federal science advisory team studying the BP PLC oil spill in the Gulf suggests the following:
Submerged mats of oil still being discovered just off the beaches in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida are considered an exception to the rule, the report indicates. Yet the report does not mention any form of removal or clean up.
Aside from the mats, the remaining oil — the report states — is either buried under a few inches of sand or present in small tarballs on the beach.
Take note parents of small children who like to build sandcastles at the beach. Dont dig too deep or you will find your hands submerged in toxicity.
Additionally, what about the the exposure risk of buried oil and sea turtle eggs and young? That will definitely be a factor in the extinction of the sea turtle if left ignored.
A local Florida resident, Linda Carter, who resides on the Gulf of Mexico disagrees vehemently with this recent ruling and provides her own personal testimony to the ever-standing affects of the oil spill.
“My husband and I took our dog to Princess Beach, an Airforce owned beach between the Fort Walton Beach and Destin bridges in Florida on Friday, February 4th, 2011.”
“It was cold and rainy, but a perfect day to find the small sand dollars that wash in, during the winter. The effects of the oil spill never entered our minds, until we looked down and saw the tar stuck to our shoes.”
“Then we noticed that it was everywhere. Was this why our dog kept wanting to go home? ”
“After seeing the tar and foam bubbles from the Corexit dispersant, we left the beach, only to get home to a very different dog!”
“We immediately bathed her and made sure her feet were clean. She became almost catatonic. As if she was in shock.”
“She was lethargic and would barely respond to us. Mostly she just stared straight ahead. We held her and petted her and she just laid there like a lifeless lump.”
“She went to sleep and when she woke up she was better and continued to improve. She is fine today, but I have noticed all the exposed areas (she had on a sweater) of her fur are almost mottled with, what looks like tufts of hair that have been cut with scissors.”
“I know the shedding season is almost upon us, but it’s still bitterly cold here, so I don’t really think that’s what it is. She was getting exposed to the toxins on the beach being closer to the sand than we were, and having a nose so sensitive.”
“Mother nature tells the animals when there is danger to get away from. I think this was a perfect example!”
Tell that to the federal officials and BP executives who parrot, “Cleanup operations beyond established standards may disturb sensitive habitats and wildlife — posing a greater environmental risk than leaving the residue in place. In these instances, further cleaning will likely do more harm than good to the ecosystem.”
Way to rip a response from the marshes clean up guide, BP. Unbelievable. I understand the concept of a fragile ecosystem but not all of our Gulf coast are marshes or wetlands and even then it blows my mind that the govt is not using the foam set in a large cage that was already presented to them to soak up the oil from the fragile areas.
If you look at the NEBA report that I attached below and note the “further cleanup impact”, half the reports reads HIGH. So how did the federal officials come to the conclusion that further clean up would cause more harm than good?
Especially when all one needs to do is drag their foot to see the oil underneath the sand. Remember, if the sand covers the oil then the oil is less likely to become weathered because the sand creates a buffer from extreme elements such as wind and sun. (left picture).
Not to mention that there are ZERO reports of the long term affects of the corexit dispersant that was used in truckloads to weigh the oil down and that of the bubbly residue approaching our shore lines.
Some critics argue that the after effects are “minor” but tell that to a child or an elderly person who had pre existing health conditions who accidentally came into contact with the oil, tar or dispersant after going to the beach after the local officials gave the “all clear”.
The fact of the matter is that the oil is still here, it is not going anywhere and it provides a health risk to the people who come into submerged (via water or sand) contact with it.
Ignoring the facts will not make this issue go away and its imperative that the people of the Gulf Coasts stand up and make their voices heard or our opinion will get sunken just like the oil. Out of sight, out of mind.
Below is a great documentary on newly dispersed oil patties on the Fort Morgan Peninsula on February 9, 2011.
Have you forgotten? Here’s a recap of the after effects of the DeepWater Horizon oil spill which happened less than a year ago.
Copyright (c) February 12, 2011. All rights reserved.