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BP & The Real State of the Gulf – Pollution Report for Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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The following is a summary of the 9/17/14 daily beach oiling report issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). I will endeavour to publish this summary each day the FDEP issues such a report. While the media and public believe that the effects of BP’s Deepwater Horizon Blowout and Oil Spill have been largely eradicated, this data suggests otherwise.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection specialists David Perkinson & Jacob Pace searched Fort Pickens on Wednesday, September 17, 2014. Perkinson & Pace collected 287 BP Deepwater Horizon tar balls weighing over 3 pound. Photos courtesy FDEP.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection specialists David Perkinson & Jacob Pace searched Fort Pickens on Wednesday, September 17, 2014. Perkinson & Pace collected 287 BP Deepwater Horizon tar balls weighing over 3 pound. Photos courtesy FDEP.

It is important to note that these reports of daily oil discoveries and further environmental damage come at a time when BP is attempting to renege on its oft-stated “Commitment to the Gulf.”

BP is repudiating the Contract and Settlement Agreement it made with area businesses and individuals that compensates them for economic and environmental losses associated with the spill. In addition, BP claims that the beaches have been cleaned and that all is well along the Gulf Coast. This despite the fact that the United States Coast Guard calls BP’s remediation claims premature, the USCG saying the cleanup effort is “not over by a long shot.”

Now BP claims that it is the victim. You be the judge, and if you are outraged, sign our petition to hold BP accountable, over four years after the company’s disaster. Keep in mind that the Judge overseeing BP’s trial recently called the Deepwater Horizon operation “totally unsafe,” “on the ragged edge,” and that BP failed to “exercise even slight care.”

My Summary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Oiling Report

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Last Wednesday, FDEP environmental specialists David Perkinson and Jacob Pace conducted a post-response monitoring survey on Escambia County, Florida beaches, with a focus in the Fort Pickens area. Numerous Surface Residue Balls (SRBs or “tar balls”) were found throughout the area. These hardened balls are often filled with deadly, flesh-eating bacteria. Do not handle without protective gloves.

Last Wednesday’s findings indicate that oil from BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill is still quite prevalent. A total of 287 tar balls were collected during the survey, amounting to over 3 pounds of Deepwater Horizon oil product removed from these sections of beach – by just two people.

Since the end of BP’s official cleanup efforts in June 2013, over 51,400 tar balls and 3,953 pounds of Deepwater Horizon oil have been documented and removed from Florida’s beaches alone (not including Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana or Texas). On an average survey day, the FDEP team (one to two people) covers no more than 1,000 yards of beach, less than 1% of Florida’s shoreline that was impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Therefore, these numbers represent a very limited snapshot of residual oiling on Northwest Florida’s beaches. For instance, this is an example of the ground covered in an average survey:

BP Survey Map

From this data, it appears BP has left town well before the job was done. So much for the company’s “Commitment to the Gulf.”

See below for an image of some of last Wednesday’s collected oil.

Portion of BP oil observed Wednesday, September 17, 2014 on Escambia County, Florida beaches. These hardened balls are often filled with deadly, flesh-eating bacteria. Do not handle without protective gloves.

Portion of BP oil observed Wednesday, September 17, 2014 on Escambia County, Florida beaches. These hardened balls are often filled with deadly, flesh-eating bacteria. Do not handle without protective gloves.

Click to see prior beach reports (January 2014 – May 2014)

Click to see prior beach reports (June 2014 – present)

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