Barbour: Mississippi's oil fight should be based out of Biloxi - - The News for South Mississippi

Barbour: Mississippi's oil fight should be based out of Biloxi


By Krystal Allan – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - According to Governor Haley Barbour, Mississippi's fight against oil must be coordinated locally in Biloxi, and not through Mobile.

The governor addressed that issue among others in a news conference Monday afternoon at the Department of Marine Resources building in Biloxi.  Earlier, Barbour met with leaders overseeing the response. He said the meeting proved productive as leaders strategized ways to keep the coordination of command and communication in Biloxi.

Barbour also shared how boats coordinated locally with radio communication will help speed up response times.

"The lead vessel in that task force is in communication, not only with Biloxi, but all the vessels in the task force. So, when everybody knows where they're supposed to be going and when they get there, what they're supposed to be doing," Governor Barbour said.

Congressman Gene Taylor said the state received confirmation that skimmers will stay deployed out by the barrier islands. Taylor also touched on another time saving step being put into place.

"We've been given assurances that boom will be deployed [ahead of time] and there will be a place to put the soiled booms so the boats don't waste any time going back and forth between the mainland," Barbour said.

A lack of resources like skimmers, according to Barbour, remains an overriding problem. It's a problem that hinders efforts to fight the oil on the water before more of it moves on shore.

"The state has ordered some skimmers. In addition, BP has found and brought in some more. But, still we have to be honest with the public: right now we don't have enough skimming capacity to handle what's off our shores that keeps coming north," Barbour said.

The state announced late last week it has ordered about 20 skimmers to be built.

Congressman Taylor said they're working with the EPA to increase the use of flying technology that accurately pin-points oil from the air. He said it's yet another way to direct resources to the right place.

Taylor said Admiral Thad Allen issued a statement saying he'd taken action to make sure foreign resources can be brought in if necessary.

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