TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Gulf cleanup patrols halted as reports of tar balls on beaches drop

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Sunday, June 16, 2013, 9:27 p.m.
 

GULF SHORES, Ala. — Finding tar balls linked to the BP oil spill isn't difficult on some Gulf Coast beaches, but the company and the government say it isn't common enough to keep sending out the crews that patrolled the sand for three years in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi.

Tourist John Henson of Atlanta disagrees, particularly after a walk in the surf last week and coming back with dark, sticky stains on his feet.

Henson said plenty of tar balls remain to be removed from the stretch of beach where he spent a few days, regardless of what any company or government agency might say.

“I was out there yesterday and stepped all in it,” he said.

Environmental advocates and casual visitors alike are questioning the Coast Guard decision to quit sending out BP-funded crews that have looked for oil deposits on northern Gulf Coast beaches on a regular basis since the 2010 spill spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico as a result of an explosion and fire that killed 11 workers.

The patrols ended this month as coastal monitoring reverted to the way it operated before the spill: The Coast Guard investigates beach pollution reported by the public through a federal system, the National Response Center and conducts cleanup operations as needed.

BP PLC, which has spent $14 billion on cleanup work, is still working with the government and says it will still pay for the removal of any lingering tar from its blown-out Deepwater Horizon well.

Cleaning crews will remain on duty in Louisiana, which was hit harder by the spill than other states because the well was so near its coast.

“Minute amounts” of oil are being reported on most beaches now as compared with three years ago.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Accused head of violent Mexican cartel nabbed
  2. Archaeologists sift through Everglades muck for history
  3. Expert: Stress level rises for Americans who forfeit vacation
  4. Panetta skipped CIA’s OK of book, potentially putting agency in delicate position with others
  5. Wrongful imprisonment case ends in guilty plea
  6. Wreckage of sunken WWII U-boat found off N.C. coast
  7. Man confesses to killing 7 women around Gary, Ind.; charges in other slayings possible
  8. Governor to form Ferguson Commission to study underlying social issues in shooting
  9. 5 airports to handle all U.S.-bound travelers from Ebola-stricken nations
  10. American free of virus
  11. Justice Department revamps cyber teams
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.