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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 McRee and Sugar Island on Thursday, April 24, 2014. Whibbs collected 151 BP Deepwater Horizon tar balls weighing over one pound. Photos courtesy FDEP.

The following is a summary of the 4/24/14 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. 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

Thursday, April 24, 2014

On Thursday, FDEP environmental specialist Joey Whibbs conducted a post-response monitoring survey on Escambia County, Florida beaches, with a focus in the Fort McRee and Sugar Island 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.

Thursday’s findings indicate that oil from BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill is still quite prevalent. A total of 151 tar balls were collected during the survey, amounting to more than one pound 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 41,600 tar balls and 2,009 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 Thursday’s collected oil.

Tar Ball Pollution from BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Found in 2014
Portion of BP oil observed Thursday, April 24, 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 Thursday, April 24, 2014 on Escambia County, Florida beaches.
Tar Ball Pollution from BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Found in 2014
Portion of BP oil observed Thursday, April 24, 2014 on Escambia County, Florida beaches.
Tar Ball Pollution from BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Found in 2014
Portion of BP oil observed Thursday, April 24, 2014 on Escambia County, Florida beaches.

Click to see prior beach reports

One Comment

  1. Gravatar for Gerald McGill

    Tom, great post. I get so sick of watching BP commercials telling us how much better the BP oil spill has made the Gulf ecosystem. Incidentally, that is the Pensacola lighthouse aboard NAS Pensacola at the top of yor post.

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