With rough weather in the Gulf of Mexico, St. Bernard Parish oil cleanup operations move into storm mode


Oil spill cleanup operations based in St. Bernard Parish are moving into storm mode.

The parish said in a news release that the Incident Command in Houma has activated the severe weather plan for oil spill operations, which means that non-essential personnel will be released from staging areas and oil spill assets and resources will be moved to higher ground.

In St. Bernard Parish, the assets and resources are being moved to the St. Bernard port on the Mississippi River in Chalmette. Vessels, meanwhile, will be moved to safe harbors until the tropical weather threat is gone.

“To prevent boom displacement and possible environmental and wildlife impact this might cause, hard oil containment boom is being retrieved from parish waters as part of the severe weather plan,” the parish news release said.

While the damaged BP well has been capped since mid-July, preventing new oil from spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, oil cleanup workers in St. Bernard Parish continue to respond to reports of oil washing onto islands and marshes in parish waters. The storm in the Gulf is expected to delay work to permanently seal the well by several days.

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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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