Anger is growing over oil spill preparedness - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Anger is growing over oil spill preparedness

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - The gunk that breached the booms in St. Louis Bay Sunday, seemed to be gone Monday but the questions, criticism and anger from area leaders is just beginning.  Whether that mousse like substance was from the oil disaster in the Gulf, won't be known until tests come back. 

But leaders in Hancock and Harrison Counties say the incident showed no one is truly prepared for oil to hit.  And they vented that frustration to the Coast Guard Commander over Mississippi Monday morning.  

The Greenish brown mouse like substance discovered floating in the Bay Sunday was no where to be found today.  "Whatever this material was the water is clear, which I do not understand." Said Jessie Fineran, with the Hancock County Emergency Operation Center.  

Large patches of a greenish-brown foamy like substance blanketed the Bay Sunday and another substance rolled ashore with the waves near Hancock Bank.  "If that was oil yesterday or if it was just algae, regardless of what it was the 18 inch boom had no affect on it what so ever." Said Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame. 

Filligame says larger ocean booms were promised last Friday.  "If it proves to not be oil we got a  blessing of a very significant wake up call. I hope that everybody in here will buy into a real since of urgency to see some of the things we've requested.  Not only for our selves but for Harrison County."  

Last week Hancock and Harrison County officials agreed to work together on an oil barricade fence in the bay, but so far nothings been done on that, which brought strong criticism for the Coast guard. "It seems like we're squandering this time that we have I can not understand why some decision hasn't been made based on Hancock-harrison County's proposal to put a fence across the bay. I am amazed by that. Where are the people that can make that decision and why don't they see it in a time element because when it's coming it's going to be to late if we're not prepared." Said Harrison County Supervisor Marlin Ladner.   

The incident commander Capt.  Steve Poulin, with the U.S. Coast Guard replied. "I appreciate the frustration one of the reasons why I wanted to come here as the incident commander for us to meet with you and let you know we do have a since of urgency and we're going to what it takes to address the concerns of this County and all of the county's I'm responsible for as the incident commander in Mobile."

Captain Poulin appointed a Coast Guard colleague  to oversee protection strategies on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. "We want to work with you , this is one team one fight and anything that we can do we stand ready to do so you have my commitment to that." Said Capt. Poulin.  Leaders here say they want to see less talk and more action.     

Officials hope to have  the test results on the substances found in the Bay back from the Department of Environmental Quality Monday evening or Tuesday morning.

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