Orange Beach pulling EMS staff from BP sites because ‘BP won’t pay their bills,’ mayor says


ORANGE BEACH, Alabama – Tired of waiting for millions in lost tax revenue and expense claims, Orange Beach officials are packing up staff and medical equipment and moving out of BP PLC contractor work sites on Monday, Mayor Tony Kennon said Saturday.

“We’re going to pull out all of our firemen and paramedics because BP won’t pay their bills,” Kennon said. “We have a multibillion-dollar, multinational corporation having a town of 5,000 people in Alabama front the money for their emergency medical response, and I’m tired of it. We’re not going to do it anymore.”

In recent weeks, Kennon has expressed growing frustration with the oil company’s lack of payment for city claims. Of about $3 million in claims submitted for lost revenue and expenses, BP had paid less than a third, officials said late last month.

Orange Beach officials will meet at 8:30 a.m. Monday at the Gulf State Park public beach access on the east side of the Perdido Pass bridge as the Fire Department staff moves out and packs up medical equipment from BP contractor work sites, according to a news release.

Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft said Saturday his city has four claims outstanding totaling more than $400,000 for services requested by BP.

“The services have been rendered and paid for,” Craft said. “We can’t just move out. We don’t have a ‘kick them out’ type of opportunity.”

Craft said BP representatives had assured him the money would be wired to city accounts Monday.

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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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