Buzz: BP could stop county flyovers and water testing

We have heard the BP has notified county officials that it will not reimburse the county for the cost of using the Escambia County Sheriff’s helicopters to flyover area water or for testing water quality. The BP arguments are that these are duplicate efforts. Florida Wildlife & Conservation has helicopters and EPA is testing the water.

Escambia County Commissioner Grover Robinson is furious. When I called him about it, Robinson said, “This leaves us totally blind.” He explained the helicopters are critical to how the county finds out what is happening with the oil plumes and they help direct the skimmers. Yes, EPA is monitoring the water quality, but those test results aren’t being shared.

Sheriff Morgan said the real issue may be that BP is now balking on reimbursing the county for the expenses it has submitted for payment. (Remember Daryl Willis of BP told the public that the claims would be reimbursed within 48 hours.)

Robinson said,”If we are all on the same team, then we want to work together. Why not do these things locally first?”

—Once again, BP actions don’t match their words and advertising.