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Tom Young
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State of the Gulf: BP Oil Spill Beach Report for Wednesday, January 22, 2014

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The following is a summary of the 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 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.

My Summary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Oiling Report

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

On Wednesday, FDEP personnel conducted post-response monitoring surveys along Escambia County, Florida beaches, with a focus in the Johnson’s Beach area.

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

The survey team estimated the concentration of SRBs to be one per every five yards of beach. The tar balls were so numerous that the survey team was unable to collect the SRBs and instead called in a United States Coast Guard response team. The USCG team mitigated all of the visible SRBs.

Today’s findings indicate that oil from BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill is still quite prevalent. Only a portion of the beach was surveyed and therefore these findings do not represent the potential findings throughout the entire segment.

Nearly 5 pounds of BP Deepwater Horizon oil product was removed from these sections of beach today. This is an extraordinary amount for such a small area, particularly considering that we are approaching the four year anniversary of the spill.

Since the end of BP’s official cleanup efforts in June 2013, over 26,200 SRBs and 435 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.

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 today’s observed oil.

January 22, 2014 BP Oil - SRB Sample

Portion of BP Oil observed Wednesday, January 22, 2014 on Escambia County, Florida beaches. These hardened balls are often filled with deadly, flesh-eating bacteria. Do not handle without protective gloves. Photo courtesy of FDEP.

Click to see prior beach reports