The Gulf Oil cleanup still isn’t over: 1,250-pound tar mat washes ashore in Florida

Four years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, oil is still being discovered VIDEO

Topics: Video, Gulf Oil Spill, BP, Big Oil, Gulf of Mexico, Deepwater Horizon, Florida, ,

The Gulf Oil cleanup still isn't over: 1,250-pound tar mat washes ashore in Florida (Credit: Narongsak Nagadhana/Shutterstock)

An important reminder that these things never really go away: four years after the Deepwater Horizon explosion dumped over 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, massive amounts of the stuff are still washing ashore. Last week, the Pensacola News Journal reports, a crew from the state Department of Environmental Protection discovered a 1,250-pound mat of tar, sand and water — measuring 9 feet long and 9 feet wide — in the surf.

Testing confirmed that the hidden-until-now deposit consisted of MC-252 oil from the 2010 spill.

In its own version of a “Mission Accomplished” fake-out, BP ended its efforts to seek out remaining tar deposits last summer, even as tar balls continued to be discovered near daily on the shores of Alabama, Florida and Mississippi. According to Michael Anderson, a spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard, they now mostly rely on tourists and local beach-goers to find the toxic deposits.

The Tampa Bay Times has more on the two-day cleanup effort:

Because of its contact with the oil, the whole thing had to be handled as hazardous material. The location posed a bit of a problem for BP’s contracted cleanup crews, according to Petty Officer Michael Anderson of the Coast Guard.

BP’s contractors aren’t allowed to go out in the surf deeper than their knees, he explained. So DEP’s two inspectors used their shovels to dig up the lumps of tar and carry them to shore, where the contractors could bag them up for disposal, he said.

Below, the cleanup crew at work:



Lindsay Abrams

Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email labrams@salon.com.

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Api Étoile

    Like little stars.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Calville Blanc

    World's best pie apple. Essential for Tarte Tatin. Has five prominent ribs.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chenango Strawberry

    So pretty. So early. So ephemeral. Tastes like strawberry candy (slightly).

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chestnut Crab

    My personal fave. Ultra-crisp. Graham cracker flavor. Should be famous. Isn't.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    D'Arcy Spice

    High flavored with notes of blood orange and allspice. Very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Esopus Spitzenberg

    Jefferson's favorite. The best all-purpose American apple.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Granite Beauty

    New Hampshire's native son has a grizzled appearance and a strangely addictive curry flavor. Very, very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hewes Crab

    Makes the best hard cider in America. Soon to be famous.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hidden Rose

    Freak seedling found in an Oregon field in the '60s has pink flesh and a fragrant strawberry snap. Makes a killer rose cider.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Knobbed Russet

    Freak city.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Newtown Pippin

    Ben Franklin's favorite. Queen Victoria's favorite. Only apple native to NYC.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Pitmaston Pineapple

    Really does taste like pineapple.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...