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BP & The Real State of the Gulf – Pollution Report for Tuesday, April 15, 2014

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Johnson Beach Perdido BP oil spill tar balls

Florida Department of Environmental Protection specialist Joey Whibbs searched Johnson Beach on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Whibbs collected 164 BP Deepwater Horizon tar balls weighing over two pounds. Photos courtesy FDEP.

The following is a summary of the 4/15/14 daily beach oiling report issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). I will endeavour to publish this summary each day the FDEP issues such a report. 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.

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

My Summary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Oiling Report

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Yesterday, FDEP environmental specialist Joey Whibbs conducted a post-response monitoring survey on Escambia County, Florida beaches, with a focus in the Johnson Beach area.

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.

Yesterday’s findings indicate that oil from BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill is still quite prevalent. A total of 164 tar balls were collected during the survey, amounting to over two 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 40,000 tar balls and 1,984 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 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 an image of some of yesterday’s collected oil.

BP oil spill tar balls florida beach

Portion of BP oil observed Tuesday, April 15, 2014 on Escambia County, Florida beaches. These hardened balls are often filled with deadly, flesh-eating bacteria. Do not handle without protective gloves.

 Click to see prior beach reports

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  1. Jim Fell says:
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    Our engineering firm took soil and water samples from several beaches in Okaloosa County, Florida a month after the spill to use as comparison should tar balls or free oil appear. The locations were documented with GPS so that comparative samples could be taken from the exact same areas if required An independent laboratory in Baton Rough performed the analysis and indicated they would be able to determine if any future findings were from the BP spill or other sources.

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