Emotions run high at BP forum in Ocean Springs - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Emotions run high at BP forum in Ocean Springs

By Krystal Allan – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS (WLOX) - The Steps Coalition in partnership with a host of local social and environmental agencies hosted a forum on the BP oil spill Monday night is Ocean Springs.

It didn't take long for the lines to form as people eagerly waited to get answers.  A BP official, as well as federal officials, including people from the EPA, NOAA and the Coast Guard sat on a panel to answer questions from citizens.  

From the toxicity of dispersants to contingency plans to protect spawning wildlife, those who came had a host of questions for the panelists.

"Is there any plan that is being considered to keep what is now being spawned... From going into the dangerous waters should that worst plan scenario happen?" one man asked.

For some people, emotions were hard to contain.

"I'm mad," one fisherman said, "but I don't mean to be mad. I've lost my livelihood on this.

His were sentiments expressed many time over by fishermen who now find themselves out of work.

"What we gonna do about the people that have to make a damn living? That's what I'm asking y'all. When y'all gonna pay us? When y'all gonna put us to work? I've been told I was gonna been paid. I haven't got paid a damn thing, excuse my language. I went down there to get the 5,000 dollars that you promised I ain't got that."

The fisherman got at least one of his concerns addressed out in the open.

"I will personally see to it that you get your check tomorrow," the BP representative told the man.

The panel of federal officials tackled a host of concerns, including some of the most frequently asked questions: How do we really measure how much oil is coming out and its impact?

A Coast Guard representative explained, "There's not gauge down 5,000 feet on the bottom for us to measure how much is coming out, so we'll probably never know what percentage we've recovered versus what stays in the environment."

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