BP and Coast Guard halt last of the shoreline cleanup operations

Sunday, April 20 is the fourth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Yesterday, BP sent out a press release that said the U.S. Coast Guard has ended patrols and operations in Louisiana. Similar operations ended in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi in June 2013.

“Reaching this milestone is the result of the extraordinary efforts of thousands of people from BP, local communities, government agencies, and academic institutions working together,” said John Mingé, Chairman and President of BP America. “Immediately following the Deepwater Horizon accident, BP committed to cleaning the shoreline and supporting the Gulf’s economic and environmental recovery. Completing active cleanup is further indication that we are keeping that commitment.”

The press release said that the cleanup effort, combined with early restoration projects and natural recovery processes, is helping restore our beaches to their the “baseline condition.”

“BP has spent more than $14 billion and more than 70 million personnel hours on response and cleanup activities,” said Laura Folse, BP’s executive vice president for Response and Environmental Restoration. “Even though active cleanup has ended, we will keep resources in place to respond quickly at the Coast Guard’s direction if potential Macondo oil is identified and requires removal.”

Read press release.

The Times-Picayune reports that parish and state officials are going to let BP off the hook.

Jerome Zeringue, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s top coastal restoration official, said in a statement that Louisiana’s coast experiences re-oiling on a daily basis and BP “must continue to respond and remove its oil for many years to come.” He added that the state “agrees with U.S. Coast Guard’s sentiments that the oil spill response is far from over.”

Jefferson Parish Council Chairman Chris Roberts said, “We have been assured protections exist to hold BP responsible as needed. We will expect that these commitments hold true when the next response to oiling is necessary,” Roberts said. “This is not the end of the cleanup rather the next phase of a long term process.”