Harrison County supervisors discuss oil crisis response - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Harrison County supervisors discuss oil crisis response


By Steve Phillips – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The use of chemical dispersants, the effectiveness of "Gunder-boom" and the plans for disposing of oily waste. All of those oil disaster topics and more were discussed at Monday's Harrison County board of supervisors meeting.

EOC Director Rupert Lacy and Sand Beach Director Bobby Weaver provide oil disaster updates at each meeting. They've been involved in evaluating various clean-up or oil prevention products. They looked at "Gunder-boom" recently.

"We're trying to work all the different angles. At the same time, trying to get BP to fund all the different angles that do look like they work," said Lacy.

Getting funds approved for oil-fighting projects is quite a battle. One supervisor calls it a "bureaucratic nightmare."

A durable mat for protecting rock jetties is among the products being considered.

"Not as much for the rock on the exterior, but interior wise. If oil penetrates the inner portion, that material could leech out for years and years. That's part of what happened with the Exxon Valdez," Bobby Weaver told supervisors.

Supervisors don't want any oily-mess leeching from Pecan Grove landfill.  The board opposes BP dumping containers of oily contaminants into the county supervised landfill.

The board attorney will issue subpoenas.

"They've not responded. Under Mississippi law, this board has the right to issue subpoenas to request that Waste Management appear and respond to the board's request," said Board Attorney Tim Holleman.

Finally, the board also passed a resolution asking BP to halt the use of dispersants in fighting the oil spill.

"It's not used, dispersants are not used at all in Europe. They are not used, not allowed. None. The oil comes to the top of the water and they skim it off and separate the oil from the water and there's no fear of chemicals," said Board President Connie Rockco.

Rockco and Supervisor William Martin voted in favor of the request. Supervisor Kim Savant voted no, saying he'd like more information.

The Waste Management officials will be asked to appear before the Board of Supervisors on July 26th.

The board's action also gives attorney Tim Holleman the ability to subpoena documents related to the disposal issue.

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