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BP, 60 Minutes & The Real State of the Gulf

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Tar Ball Pollution from BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Found in 2014

Florida Department of Environmental Protection specialist Joey Whibbs searched Fort Pickens and Pensacola Beach on Friday, May 2, 2014. This picture represents just a small portion of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil he found. More below. All photos courtesy FDEP.

Last night, the CBS news magazine 60 Minutes ran a story on BP in which the company attempted to portray itself as a victim of the people of the Gulf of Mexico. Let these photos, from last Friday (4 years and 12 days since the Deepwater Horizon disaster), remind BP and its sympathizers that the company is no victim. It is indeed the villain and will remain so until full restitution is made for destroying our environment and economy.

The following is a summary of the 5/02/14 daily beach oiling report issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). While the media and public believe that the effects of BP’s Deepwater Horizon Blowout and Oil Spill have been largely eradicated, this data suggests otherwise.

It is important to note that these reports of daily oil discoveries and further environmental damage come at a time when BP is attempting to renege on its oft-stated “Commitment to the Gulf.” The company is repudiating the Contract it made with area businesses and individuals that compensates them for economic and environmental losses associated with BP’s spill. In addition, BP claims that the beaches have been cleaned and that all is well along the Gulf Coast. This despite the fact that the United States Coast Guard calls BP’s remediation claims premature, the USCG saying the cleanup effort is “not over by a long shot.”

Now BP claims that it is the victim. You be the judge, and if you are outraged, sign our petition to hold BP accountable, over four years after the company’s disaster.

My Summary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Oiling Report

Friday, May 2, 2014

On Friday, FDEP environmental specialist Joey Whibbs conducted a post-response monitoring survey on Escambia County, Florida beaches, with a focus in the Pensacola Beach and Fort Pickens areas.

Numerous Surface Residue Balls (SRBs or “tar balls”) were found throughout the area. These hardened balls are often filled with deadly, flesh-eating bacteria. Do not handle without protective gloves.

Friday’s findings indicate that oil from BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill is still quite prevalent. A total of 232 tar balls and 9 large tar patties were collected during the survey, amounting to over 21 pounds of Deepwater Horizon oil product removed from these sections of beach – by one person.

Since the end of BP’s official cleanup efforts in June 2013, over 42,100 tar balls and 2,039 pounds of Deepwater Horizon oil have been documented and removed from Florida’s beaches alone (not including Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana or Texas). On an average survey day, the FDEP team (one person) covers no more than 1,000 yards of beach, less than 1% of Florida’s shoreline that was impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Therefore, these numbers represent a very limited snapshot of residual oiling on Northwest Florida’s beaches.

For instance, this is an example of the ground covered in an average survey:

BP Survey Map

From this data, it appears BP has left town well before the job was done. So much for the company’s “Commitment to the Gulf.”

See below for images of some of Friday’s collected oil.

Tar Ball Pollution from BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Found in 2014

Portion of BP oil observed Friday, May 2, 2014 on Escambia County, Florida beaches. These hardened balls are often filled with deadly, flesh-eating bacteria. Do not handle without protective gloves.

Tar Ball Pollution from BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Found in 2014

Portion of BP oil observed Friday, May 2, 2014 on Escambia County, Florida beaches.

Tar Ball Pollution from BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Found in 2014

Portion of BP oil observed Friday, May 2, 2014 on Escambia County, Florida beaches.

Click to see prior beach reports

4 Comments

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  1. Lance says:
    up arrow

    It’s still all over the barrier islands off of Pascagoula.

  2. up arrow

    […] For a change of pace, I’m going to give the last word to a fellow New Orleans blogger who had the same reaction I did — and who posted some of the many photos of BP tar balls that have washed ashore on Florida’s Gulf beaches in recent days. Wrote Tom Young of the Legal Examiner: […]

  3. Terry johnson says:
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    Bp is just trying to get out of paying Will not buy gas from Bp

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