Bay County Emergency Services Hazmat responders tested a piece of oiled plastic foam found by a kayaker at Panama City Beach Wednesday in the Gulf Highlands area, off Beach Access 39. Preliminary tests of the substance on the Styrofoam matched an oil sample originating from the Deepwater Horizon release that Bay County obtained several weeks ago and is being used as a baseline for local sampling equipment. The item will be turned over to the U.S. Coast Guard for further testing.
Trajectories released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show continued easterly movement of product released following the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. An unknown amount of product is predicted to be located off Bay County shores by Friday. Residents and visitors may see weathered oil pollutant in different forms.
Bay County continues to prepare for impacts related to the oil release. Visit www.baycountyfl.gov for important phone numbers and information and to sign up for E-mail updates about the oil release.