FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 1, 2012
FLORIDA COMPLETES POST-HURRICANE SEASON BEACH INSPECTIONS
~Gulf Coast Incident Management Team continues to actively manage oil spill response efforts~
PENSACOLA – Florida today announced results of beach inspections conducted as part of response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Florida inspections, completed on Jan. 14, 2012, were conducted to assure that no additional oil impacts occurred as a result of storms passing through the Gulf of Mexico during the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season.
The U.S. Coast Guard Federal On Scene Coordinator, after consultation with the State On Scene Coordinators for each affected state, ordered that more than 300 miles of previously cleaned or never-oiled shoreline be re-inspected.
“Florida’s response team is committed to ensuring our shorelines and beaches are clean and remain free from oil,” said Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. “We will continue to work diligently with BP, the Coast Guard, the federal trustees and our fellow Gulf States on these important response efforts.”
In Florida, 33 personnel inspected approximately 39 miles of shoreline and found that 1.75 miles were still impacted by tarballs. After the tarballs were collected and the shorelines were re-inspected, approximately one quarter of a mile of beach was recommended for continued cleanup to the Federal On Scene Coordinator. The remaining 38.75 miles of shoreline met standards upon re-inspection.
The shorelines targeted for inspection were mainly focused on areas that previously were impacted by oil. Across the Gulf States, 320 miles of shoreline were selected by the State On Scene Coordinators and Department of Interior (DOI) Trustee for post-hurricane season shoreline inspections, with more than 150 response personnel participating in the inspection process.
The Unified Command, made up of members of each affected Gulf State, the Coast Guard, Federal Trustees and BP, will continue response activities to ensure effective removal of oil from the environment. If the public observes oil in the environment, they are encouraged to notify the National Response Center (NRC) by calling (800) 424-8802. When oil is reported, the Coast Guard will investigate and implement the cleanup, if necessary, with the identified responsible party.