Tests Show Hurricane Isaac Dredged Up Oil From BP Gulf Spill
Lab tests have shown that oil found from the now infamous BP Gulf oil spill in 2010 on two Louisiana beaches after Hurricane Isaac came.
Tests were run on the oil globs by Louisiana State University to confirm that oil found on Elmer’s Island and Grand Isle matched the biological footprint of the oil that spewed from BP’s fated Macondo well, reports NOLA.
BP PLC announced on Wednesday that oil from its 2010 spill was exposed by Isaac’s waves. The company is working to clean it up. Ed Overton, the LSU chemist who performed the state tests, added that the oil found on Grand Isle was much more degraded than that found on Elmer’s Island. Overton added, “Both were good solid matches on Macondo oil.”
Experts have predicted that hurricanes will stir up buried oil from the Gulf Coast spill for years to come, a prediction that has proven to be true for each tropical storm in the area. Alabama and Louisiana both have reported seeing tar balls was ashore after Hurricane Isaac.
Overton cautioned that, while the buried oil can harm the environment, it doesn’t mean that the Gulf area is seeing a repeat of the summer of 2010 when oil gushed from the Maconda well 55 miles off the coast of Louisiana.
The chemist added that more oil is probably buried along the coast as far down as three feet. More than 100 pounds of tar balls were collected along the Alabama coast after Hurricane Isaac.
The Washington Post notes that BP still has hundreds of cleanup workers on the Gulf Coast two years after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded, killing 11 workers and triggering the nation’s longest and largest offshore spill.
Garret Graves, a top coastal aide to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, asserted that BP was not aggressive enough with its initial cleanup after the 2010 spill. Graves stated:
“If they would put just a fraction of the dollars they’re putting into their PR campaign into cleanup, we’d certainly be much farther ahead than we are now.”
So far, BP has spent more than $14 billion in cleanup and response to the Gulf oil spill. The company also donated $1 million to the American red Cross and The Salvation Army to help victims of Hurricane Isaac. As for the oil dredged up by the category 1 storm, it will be analyzed and the beaches cleaned up as quickly as possible.