BP Cleanup Worker: “They’re just covering it up”


We’ve grown accustomed to the silence of BP cleanup workers, who fear losing their jobs and pay if they dare speak the truth. But one brave cleanup crew member is telling WKRG News 5 that “they’re just covering it up” on Alabama beaches. He says he’s been doing cleanup work since June, and on one Gulf Shores area beach, there are 4-inch layers of tar under about 6 feet of sand.

We’ve been talking about “land farming” (i.e., burying oil) since the outset of the cleanup effort. And there are plenty of reports about the “coverup” – in the most literal sense of the word. But along with the revelation from this particular cleanup worker, who spoke on the condition he not be identified or appear on camera, reporter Debbie Williams has little trouble finding oil and countless tar balls on the beach in Gulf Shores.

Ms. Williams begins her report with a survey from the air and illustrates the seemingly arbitrary nature of the cleanup efforts as BP ratchets back its response. As the company stops buying silence from cleanup workers around the Gulf, we’re sure to hear more of these types of reports – and it will be interesting to see what the reaction will be from local governments.

Check out the WKRG video here: http://www.wkrg.com/gulf_oil_spill/article/tar-balls-galore-on-alabama-beaches/978104/Sep-28-2010_6-35-pm/

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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