BP Official: Expect “More Oiling of Beaches”


While national spokesmen continue to spin the “Mission Accomplished” spill narrative, a BP official a bit closer to the situation admits what many of us have been saying for months: We are going to see more oiled beaches along the Gulf Coast.

“We fully expect that we are going to see some more oiling of beaches, and that’s why we haven’t gone anywhere and made the commitment to stay there until it is cleaned up,” says Curtis Thomas, a BP director of government and public affairs. He was quoted in the Tri-Parish Times newspaper report about tar balls and oil washing ashore on Grand Isle, Louisiana.

There is plenty of speculation about where the new oil is coming from: Older oil resurfacing, tar balls that were buried that are churned up by weather and tides, and of course, those huge oil plumes that officials denied existed until it was proven they did.

We constantly point out that “it’s not over” in terms of seafood safety, public health and economic impacts. But it’s worth noting that it’s also not over in terms of oil-slicked beaches – which must be a difficult fact for the “it wasn’t so bad” crowd to face.

Says one environmental observer, quoted in the Tri-Parish report, of the Grand Isle situation: “I found tar balls that were not as weathered as they have been in the past. The quantity of tar balls is increasing as well as the size.” And we’re told that “…the pier at Grand Isle State Park offers a view of black water, the worst instance of oil contamination since the BP oil spill.”

So much for NOAA’s “all clear” declaration.

Read local reporting about the new oil slicks here: http://www.tri-parishtimes.com/articles/2011/01/19/page_1/348_50_tarballtroublespg1.txt

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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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