Suit: La. officials want BP to defy U.S. and remove oil boom anchors

Sept. 23, 2013 at 3:55 PM
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BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 23 (UPI) -- BP says it is suing the state of Louisiana to block the state's demand for the removal of thousands of anchors that hold down oil-collection booms.

In a federal lawsuit filed in Baton Rouge, the British oil company says it was directed by federal officials to use the anchors and booms in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon drilling accident that gushed millions of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, Courthouse News Service reproted Monday.

The aluminum anchors are about 3 feet tall and weigh 75 pounds. BP said in the lawsuit "it is simply not possible" to comply with orders from Louisiana officials to removed the anchors. BP says federal officials "directed the use of boom – and the anchors that held the boom in place – to help avoid and mitigate environmental harm."

After the well was capped in July 2010, BP claims in the suit the anchors and boom were collected "wherever possible and reasonable." Anchors that were lost or buried in sediment were not collected and the Coast Guard "concluded firmly" the anchors should not be collected "because doing so poses an unacceptable risk to the environment."

Louisiana fishermen say the "orphan" anchors pose danger to nets and other devices used by fisherman. One fisherman said his 25-foot boat was pulled from side to side when a fishing nest snagged on one of the anchors.

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