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Monday October 20th 2014

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EOC: Where is the $50 million?

The state of Florida has been given $50 by BP to assist counties deal with the BP oil disaster. Ten weeks after the explosion at Deepwater Horizon, Escambia County has been told that will get $1.9 million.

Commissioner Grover Robinson is still fighting for three belt skimmers to fight the oil in the bays and inland waterways. Unified Command and DEP have yet to approve it.

“We want six, but will settle for three.” said Robinson. “The state got us a drum skimmer, but that doesn’t work.”

Robsinson said, “No one is willing to step up. We’ve been screaming for a week for these skimmers.”

I asked State Rep. Jimmy Patronis (Rep-Panama City) about the $50 million. “That is the question – Where has the $5o million gone?” said Patronis. He wonders if the funds have been used by DEP and the state to fund its efforts on the part of the counties.

Robinson showed his frustrations. “If you don’t have skimmers, the boom will not work. This is not that hard. We have a plan. No one has given us the money to make this happen.