Update on the Gulf Oil Spill
by George Washington
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Oil Tests Positive for Dispersants in the Mississippi Sound
The Press-Register notes today:
Lumpy, degraded oil collected in the Mississippi Sound has tested positive for several of the main ingredients in the Corexit dispersant used in connection with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to scientists working for a New Orleans-based lawyer.
Officials with the federal government and BP PLC have maintained throughout the oil spill that no dispersant products have been used near shorelines in Alabama or Mississippi.
Marco Kaltofen, part of the group of scientists who found the oil in Mississippi Sound, said it was impossible to determine when the dispersant had been applied to the oil. Results from the tests, which were conducted in a Colorado laboratory, indicated the oil was from the Deepwater Horizon well, he said.
“EPA samples found only one indication of dispersant near shore in Louisiana. That location was sampled several times with no other detection,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman Terri White said in a Monday e-mail. “There is no authorization to apply any dispersant at this time. If anyone has information about this, they need to report it immediately so it can be investigated and referred to law enforcement.”
Smith, the lawyer who funded Kaltofen’s sampling expedition, discounted the notion that dispersants had not been used near shore.
“I personally saw C-130s applying dispersants from my hotel room in the Florida Panhandle. They were spraying directly adjacent to the beach right at dusk,” said Smith. “Fishermen I’ve talked to say they’ve been sprayed. This idea they are not using this stuff near the coast is nonsense.”
Other tests are coming back positive for dispersant as well.
BP Tells Experienced Gulf Fishermen that They Don’t Know the Difference Between Oil and Seafloor Muck
The Pensacola News Journal notes:
Recreational fisherman Mark Fuqua, 47, of Pensacola, who has fished the waters from Destin to Pensacola most of his life, discovered just how big the mess is on the first day he struck out to drop a line in the water since the fishing ban was lifted two weeks ago.
After a day of fishing in several areas of the bay on Wednesday, his boat, anchor and cast net were covered in oil.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “I was fishing in front of Palafox Pier and pulled up my anchor, and it looked like it had black mud on it. I reached down to try to wipe it off and it was all greasy, like greasy sand.”
The anchor was dropped in 20 feet of water.
[Scott Piggott, who heads the Escambia and Santa Rosa cleanup operation for BP] said the reports from fishermen about finding oil often are not reliable.
“I’ve heard accounts of people who hold up their anchors that have this black stuff on it,” he said. “I can’t tell you how many times we’ve gotten reports from fishermen with sightings of sheen and oil. Ninety-nine percent of the time, these reports turn out to be organic material.”
Fuqua said Piggott’s statement “sounds typical.”
“BP is really counting on that out-of-sight, out-of-mind thing. It’s there and they know it,” he said. “They need to be exposed and made to do something about it.”
Sure, and the oil plumes and dispersant which experienced scientists think they are finding in the Gulf are really just kelp, and the dead animals which people see are really just sleeping, and the rashes and breathing problems coastal residents exposed to the dispersant are suffering are really just allergies.
Mission (Not) Accomplished on Oil Spill