Hurricane churned up Deepwater Horizon oil

Oct. 18, 2012 at 7:27 AM
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NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Hurricane Isaac churned up about 565,000 pounds of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, leading to criticism about BP's cleanup efforts.

BP has collected about 120,000 pounds more tar and oil material since the late-August hurricane than had been collected since January, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Wednesday.

Members of Louisiana's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority said these figures throw into sharp relief the failures by the giant British oil producer to adequately clean coastal waters polluted by about 1 million barrels of oil still believed to be under the surface.

"This is proof to our point that they're wrong and have been wrong for over a year now," Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority Chairman Garrett Graves said at a Wednesday meeting, about BP's long-term cleanup plans.

About 660 miles of Louisiana's shoreline where oil has shown up is no longer considered under "active response" by BP, meaning it's up to local governments or residents to report oil sightings to crews for testing before the U.S. Coast Guard contacts BP for cleanup.

"Just the fact that they're relying on us to find it is outrageous," said state Rep. Ray Garofalo. "The Coast Guard should be siding with us and not with BP."

Jefferson Parish President John Young said the recently surfaced oil, which has called attention to problems with the cleanup process, might spur action.

"Maybe Isaac was a blessing in disguise because it brought to fruition what we thought was going to happen," he said. "It brought the oil up."

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