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The State of the Gulf’s Beaches: BP Oil Spill Weekly Pollution Summary, 1/26/14-2/01/14

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Contrary to BP’s assertions that the Gulf is making a strong recovery and that any lasting effects from the company’s Deepwater Horizon Blowout are minimal, I offer this weekly summary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (FDEP) daily beach monitoring surveys.

Typical Beach Survey Coverage

Example of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s typical beach survey coverage on any given day. The FDEP usually covers less than 1,000 yards when collecting the BP oil residue pictured below.

Since the end of BP’s active cleanup efforts in June 2013, government agencies (not BP) have documented and removed over 32,874 Surface Residue Balls (SRBs), better known as tar balls, and more than 476 pounds of Deepwater Horizon oil 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.

These numbers thus represent a very limited snapshot of residual oiling on Northwest Florida’s beaches. If one were to extrapolate this data to include all of Florida’s Gulf beaches, as well as the coasts of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, it would not be hard to imagine that the problem is much more pervasive and lasting than BP is willing to admit.

Worse, much of this oil material is contaminated with deadly, flesh-eating bacteria. Laypeople should not handle.

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.

Readers may find daily reports of the FDEP’s findings here. What follows is a summary of FDEP’s reports, including number and volume of tar balls recovered, as well as associated photos, filed for the week of January 26, 2014, nearly four years after the spill.

Last Week’s Findings

Oil Stats 1-26-14

Amount of BP Deepwater Horizon tar balls (“SRBs”) collected for the week of January 26, 2014, as well as cumulative volumes since BP ceased active cleanup operations in June 2013. Last week’s numbers were down due to two cancelled survey days as a result of inclement weather.

BP Oil SRB Sample A - 1-31-14

The tar balls on the right show what is typically found when only the dry beach is investigated. The tar balls on the left show the percentage of material in the water which is often overlooked by responders. Hence, reported numbers are often lower than reality.

January 28, 2014 BP Oil Spill Tar Balls

Portion of BP oil collected Tuesday, January 28, 2014 on Escambia County, Florida beaches. These hardened balls are often filled with deadly, flesh-eating bacteria. Do not handle without protective gloves.

January 28, 2014 BP Oil Spill Tar Balls

Portion of BP oil collected Tuesday, January 28, 2014 on Escambia County, Florida beaches.

January 27, 2014 BP Oil Spill Tar Balls Escambia County, Florida Beach

Portion of BP oil collected Monday, January 27, 2014 on Escambia County, Florida beaches.

January 27, 2014 BP Oil Spill Tar Balls Escambia County, Florida Beach

BP oil seen on Monday, January 27, 2014 on Escambia County, Florida beaches.

7 Comments

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  1. up arrow

    […] of Louisiana but Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida panhandle on a regular basis. I urge you to check out some of the pictures at his latest report, which also […]

  2. up arrow

    […] The State of the Gulf’s Beaches: BP Oil Spill Weekly Pollution Summary, 1/26/14-2/01/14 […]

  3. Susan L. Grau says:
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    Are there any tv stations carrying this info. 60 minutes would love this. Thank you for your work

  4. up arrow

    […] The State of the Gulf’s Beaches: BP Oil Spill Weekly Pollution Summary, 1/26 … – L… This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged beaches, blowout, deepwater, florida, […]

  5. Jesse Suter says:
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    If we don,t put CEOs in prisons, this will never end.

  6. David Feldstein says:
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    Each State should be sending BP monthly bills that reflect the hours of work, location and number of balls found. If BP refuses to reimburse there are two clear options. One, go to court. Two, each State Legislature should add a tax on each gallon of gas that gas stations that sell BP gasoline.

    The States, should also consider a joint “gift” of the tar balls be delivered to BP several times a year. They should be boxed and addressed to the President and Board of Directors of the company.

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