BP officials answer Harrison County leaders' questions - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

BP officials answer Harrison County leaders' questions

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

By Jessica Bowman – email

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Harrison County leaders met with officials from British Petroleum Saturday to discuss the resources needed to protect the coast and find out who will foot the bill.

George Mulvaney with the U.S. Environmental Service told area leaders, "There's just not enough resources when you're talking that big of a coastline."

DMR and DEQ said the resources that are available are being used to protect the most sensitive areas.

"They're trying to best deploy them in areas that would protect the nursery areas. They don't want to see oil get all into the nursery areas. That would kill the shrimping industry," said Mulvaney.

Currently, more than 54,000 feet of boom is strung along 25 miles of shoreline for a proactive measure, but it isn't working as well as it could.

Mulvaney says, "What we're dealing with is high tides. High tidal movements here and waves you get a two foot chop, maybe a three foot chop, it's not going to stop any oil. It's going to come under and over it."

South Mississippi leaders had many questions for BP including who's responsible for the cleanup.

Supervisor Marlin Ladner said, "Harrison County and I presume none of the cities want to be responsible for the clean up. They're [BP] going to be responsible. If they need sub-contractors or they need assistance from the municipalities and the counties, we'll be happy to give it to them. I'm not initiating any clean up as a county official. Those guys are going to do it, and they are going to responsible for paying for it."

Lisa Houghton, with BP Public Affairs, said, "BP's, the responsible party for that oil, will pay."

BP representative Phillip Murray said, "When that stuff rolls up on the beach, depends on what type of oil or what hits the beach. You've got the haz walker training. You're going to have to have some specialists with special training to address this, and that will go through the EPA and all the agencies from the Federal Government. And we'll be footing the bill for every bit of it."

As for beach closures, officials say when and if the oil is North of Chandelier Island, appropriate actions will be taken to close beaches for everyone's safety.

British Petroleum said people with oil damage claims can call 800-440-0858.

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