Submerged Oil Mats from BP Spill Found Near Pensacola Beaches

Activist Post

The remnants of the BP oil spill are still impacting the environment around the Gulf. During a post-response monitoring survey last month, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) found 1250 pounds of submerged oil mats near Pensacola beaches.  The discovery was baffling because the area was surveyed 9 times since the Deepwater Horizon oil in 2010.

The report from February 27th, 2014 states:

In segment FLES2-005, several SRBs were found during the initial survey of the segment. Most SRBs were recovered as the team continued its survey. Exceptionally calm conditions allowed the team to survey a few meters offshore and a submerged oil mat (SOM) was found east of the Fort Pickens Ranger Station. The SOM measured about 3 meters by 3 meters in diameter, was up to 15-20 centimeters thick, and was found about 7 meters offshore in water that was about 1 meter deep.

Immediately upon discovery, an NRC report was filed. The team met with USCG personnel in the field shortly thereafter and the OSRO was deployed to assist with recovery of the SOM. However, the OSRO’s safety policies would not allow the crew to go in further than knee-deep water. As a cooperative effort, FDEP personnel removed product by hand using shovels provided by the OSRO. As chunks of the SOM were removed by FDEP personnel, the OSRO began sifting, weighing, and categorizing the material. By the end of the day, 1,249.56 lb of SOM product was removed just from a small 3 m x 3 m area.

The FDEP said they removed 90% of the oil mats.  Here are some images:

The FDEP calls the discovery “remarkable” because the area has been surveyed repeatedly since the Deepwater Horizon spill:

What is remarkable about this area is that this segment has been previously surveyed 9 times by FDEP since the end of the active Deepwater Horizon response in June 2013. On one previous survey (December 10, 2013) four yellow Driftcards from the Texas A&M study were found in this area, indicating that this may be a natural collection area. The 9 previous surveys of this segment amounted to 32 lb of MC-252 product before today. However, through persistent proactive monitoring, a significant deposit of MC-252 oil was located and removed today.

See full report here.

Meanwhile, there’s breaking news today that BP is responsible for an ongoing oil spill in Lake Michigan.

Related Activist Post Article:
EPA Lifts Ban, BP Wins $40 Billion in New Contracts

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