The gulf coast is still feeling the rippling after effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill—recently a 1,250 pound tar mat was discovered in the surf near Pensacola beach. This is the second largest oil discovery on the Pensacola shore this year.
A report issued by the state Department of Environmental Protection stated that the mat was roughly nine feet by nine feet and was hauled away over the course of two days. Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Natalie Murphy said in a statement to the Pensacola News Journal that they were only able to estimate the size of the visible portions of the tar mat, and that its actual size could be even bigger.
BP clean up crews remove oil from Pensacola beach. Clean-up crews hired by BP remove Deepwater Horizon oil from Pensacola Beach in 2010.
DEP investigators were surprised at the discovery of the tar mat, since the area of beach had been inspected nine times in the previous years. They believe that this patch of ocean may be a natural “collection area” for the oil remaining from the spill and hypothesized that this tar mat was probably present for a long time before being discovered.
Clean up efforts were complicated by the fact that oil is classified as hazardous material and BP’s contracted clean-up crews are not allowed to enter water levels higher than their knees. To work around these unique problems, DEP inspectors had to shovel clumps of oil from the tar mat and carry them to shore. BP’s crew then bagged and disposed of the material.
Some environmental groups worry that this large mass is only the tip of the iceberg, citing that the mat was discovered by the naked eye of two inspectors. They say that the picture could become much worse when more people begin searching in earnest for oil.
If you’re still looking for a settlement from the 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill, please contact the offices of attorney Frank Miranda. Mr. Miranda has been involved heavily in BP oil spill settlement claims in Tampa, and he will work hard to help you receive the compensation you deserve.