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State of the Gulf: BP Oil Spill Beach Report: Thursday, January 23, 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

Thursday, January 23, 2014

On Thursday, FDEP personnel conducted post-response monitoring surveys along Escambia County and Walton County, Florida beaches, with a focus on the Pensacola Beach and Deer Lake State Park areas.

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

Today’s findings indicate that oil from BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill is still quite prevalent. Unfortunately, the survey team was unable to collect all SRBs it discovered. The residue was simply too widespread for the team’s limited resources to fully mitigate.

A total of 261 SRBs were collected during the survey, amounting to more than a pound of Deepwater Horizon oil product 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. In addition, these findings indicate that Macondo oil associated with Deepwater Horizon can consistently be found far to the east of the spill site.

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 today’s collected oil.

January 23, 2014 BP Oil Tar Balls Escambia County, Florida Beach

Portion of BP Oil collected Thursday, January 23, 2014 on Escambia County, Florida beaches. These hardened balls are often filled with deadly, flesh-eating bacteria. Do not handle without protective gloves. Photos courtesy of FDEP.

January 23, 2014 BP Oil Collected Walton County, Florida Beach

Portion of BP Oil collected Thursday, January 23, 2014 on Walton County, Florida beaches.

Click to see prior beach reports