BP Says 98 Percent of Coastal Clean-up in Mississippi is DoneBy Rhonda Miller | Published 16 Apr 2012 07:40pm |
Friday marks two years since the BP oil spill wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast. Thousands of Mississippi residents are eligible for a proposed $7 billion settlement with BP being considered this week by a federal judge in New Orleans. As far as the coastal clean-up, MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports, BP says that’s mostly done.
"We call them tar patties..."
In a helicopter flying over Mississippi’s main coastline and barrier islands, President of BP’s Gulf Coast Restoration Organization Mike Utsler says tar patties continue to wash up after storms.
At the airport in Gulfport, Utsler says the oil spill clean-up in Mississippi is 98 percent complete.
"We still have areas that have real impact that we’re continuing to clean actively. Right here in Mississippi on the barrier islands, particularly in the National Park Service areas, we’re still working hard with crews to continuously remove from the surface tar balls."
Superintendent of Gulf Islands National Seashore Dan Brown says BP has done an especially good job on the clean-up at the main tourist destination on West Ship Island.
"When you add up the oil they’ve removed from all of the islands, it exceeds three-and-a-half million pounds of oil. So they have removed a tremendous amount. But having visited the islands recently myself, there is still a substantial amount of oil remaining on some of the islands, particularly Horn and Petit Bois."
Some on the Mississippi coast, like Terese Collins of the Gulf Islands Conservancy, say the long-term effects of the oil spill are unknown.
"One, why are the dolphins and turtles still dying? And what impact does that have on our fisheries and the food chain in general and the public at large? And two, are the tar balls laden with bacteria and other concentrated products that may be harmful to people and animals?"
Gulf Coast residents who have had their income or health harmed by the oil spill will have their cases considered in federal court in New Orleans this week. Yesterday’s deadline for the proposed $7 billion settlement with BP has been extended to Wednesday.
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