If you’ll excuse the expression, sometimes it helps to drill down for the real story on how BP is really functioning behind the scenes, away from the public eye and the “spill cam.” A letter in The Walton Sun newspaper offers a glimpse. And the response by the county’s sheriff offers more than a glimpse.
The letter wonders who supervises cleanup workers, who apparently setup tents in the middle of the beach, marched up and down the shore doing “inspections” and ran their vehicles all over the place – this in an area spared from the oil slicks thus far. Clearly, the concern was that cleanup workers were not being very sensitive to the visitors vacationing there … fair enough, but the reply was even more eye-opening.
From the Sun (July 17), Walton County Sheriff Mike Adkinson offered the following response:
“The contract workers you are referring are BP workers. They are allegedly being directed under the direction of BP. I, however, believe they have little or no control over their actions. Walton County has had numerous complaints over their ‘work’ schedule and performance. We have demanded local control, but cannot seem to make any progress. The current cost of those workers is in excess of $3 million. BP is paying for those workers and the county is caught between them and being unable to pay for the clean up. We are running our own efforts in the bay, coastal dune lakes and offshore and BP has yet to reimburse us. While there are little tar balls today, should we receive a heavy deposit, it would take everything they have and more. It is a very frustrating situation.”
Stay tuned. My guess is we’ll be hearing more about BP and its cleanup contractors as we move into the next phase of this disaster.