WAIMH: SPILL WATCH: Miles of Oil Containment Boom Sit in Warehouse, Waiting for BP or U.S. to Use

Article posted on June 10th, 2010 by Jack Kneafsey

Oil Containment Boom“John Lapoint of Packgen in Auburn, Maine, says he’s got plenty of floating oil containment boom and can make lots more on short notice.  There’s just one problem:  no one will buy it from him.”

Clearly, something seems wrong here!

Gregory Sullivan in a comment posted on PajamasMedia.com goes on to write:

“While it is not easy to clean up an ocean oil spill, it is not a complicated procedure. In the open ocean, chemicals can be sprayed on slicks to try to disperse them. For the most part, oil floats, so it can sometimes be ignited and burned to lessen the amount that might reach a more sensitive area than the middle of an ocean. Out in open water, you can use booms (temporary floating barriers), but the wind and wave action makes it pretty difficult to place them and keep them there. When you get in closer to shore, where the oil is likely to do the most damage but the water is generally calmer, the best way to deal with it is to place flexible booms in the water, against which the oil will collect, and then run skimmers, a sort of pump that vacuums up and separates the oil from the water. Then you mop up what makes it to the shore as best you can.”

Meanwhile, ABC News reported two weeks ago:

On May 2, Gov. Jindal requested that federal authorities and BP provide three million feet of absorbent boom, five million feet of hard boom and 30 “jack up” barges. Of that, less than 800,000 feet of hard boom has arrived — less than a fifth of the request. About 140,000 feet of that hard boom is sitting waiting for BP to tell contractors where to take it.

“It is clear we don’t have the resources we need to protect our coast, we need more boom, more skimmers, more vacuums, more jack-up barges that are still in short supply,”  Jindal said today.

“Will John Lapoint be able sell his boom to BP or the U.S. government?  Will he make more?  Will he go broke waiting, and lay everyone off again?  Will someone finally decide to purchase it, and by the time it arrives on scene, find out it was needed weeks ago and now it’s just a waste?”

Rest the rest of this commentary here.

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