MDEQ: Tests show material on Deer Island not oil

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on Wednesday released testing results done on suspected oil spill material found on Deer Island recently. The results determined that the material was not oil and not a product of the oil spill.

Coastal geology specialists and other scientists identified the material as "humate cemented sand." It's a type of organic sediment in bodies of brackish or saline water which accumulates in and beneath marsh deposits in beach sands or bayous and bays.

The first round of screening analysis found that the material was not oil or from the oil spill. A second, more detailed round of testing confirmed that no oil contaminants were present.

"We appreciate the attentiveness of our citizens in reporting what they find or observe. This material was not oil spill related or an oil product, but we encourage people to be observant and report what they see," said Trudy D. Fisher, MDEQ Executive Director.

To report any oil spill related material, contact the National Response Center at 800-424-8802, or file an online report at People can also contact MDEQ at 601-961-5171 for assistance.

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