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Debris field forces Harrison County to close its beaches

Published: Aug. 31, 2012 at 1:02 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2012 at 11:25 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Before debris cleanup can begin on the Mississippi Gulf Coast beaches, crews have to figure out if the area could be contaminated with oil from the BP spill.

Friday morning, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the Coast Guard were searching Harrison County beaches for any BP oil spill remnants.

The Harrison County Sand Beach Director Chuck Loftis said his team is proactive and ready to put the cleaning wheels in motion.

"If there is no product, we'll start debris cleanup next week," said Loftis.

His team is already looking for tar patties and tar mats.

"If we find them, then it becomes a BP issue and not a county issue," said Loftis.

He said Isaac has been a bump in the road, but his team is taking one thing at a time, even if they find product.

"We'll regroup and start all over again," said Loftis.

So far, they have not found BP products to be worried about. But they hope to have the assessment finished Saturday and the cleanup process started Monday.

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