Hurricane Isaac Turns Up Tar Balls From BP Gulf Coast Oil SpillSeptember 6, 2012
According reports, in the wake of Hurricane Isaac many Gulf Coast locals in Alabama and Louisiana have discovered tar balls and oil in areas once underneath the now receded waterline. Sources say officials even closed a 13-mile stretch of the beach. According to BP, some of the oil was from the infamous Deepwater Horizon oil spill, but the company also pointed out that the oil could be from a number of other sources. Further, BP officials stated that one positive thing about the hurricane is that it made areas where cleanup is necessary visible. According to reports, BP still has hundreds of cleanup workers on the Gulf Coast working on the aftermath of the nation's largest oil spill in history. Specifically, BP has said it is working with the Coast Guard and state officials to clean the oil on Fourchon beach in Louisiana.
According to a chemist at Louisiana State University, the exposed oil which washed up on the beach after Isaac was weathered and less toxic, but could still harm animals. The chemist believes the storm helped speed up the natural processes that break down oil and it might take several more storms to stir up the rest of the oil which is buried along the Gulf Coast.
On the other hand, the reappearance of oil has frustrated state officials. According to the top coastal aide to the Louisiana Governor, Garret Graves, BP has not been aggressive enough in its cleanup efforts. Mr. Graves was quoted as saying, "if they would only put a fraction of the dollars they are putting into their PR campaign into cleanup, we would certainly be much farther ahead than we are now." Sources say BP has spent millions of dollars on public relations since the oil spill but the company has not released an exact figure. Reportedly, BP's cleanup and response costs over the last two years were more than $14 billion and more than 66 million man-hours have gone to protect and treat the Gulf shoreline.