From Escambia County Commissioner Grover Robinson:
Recently it has come to our attention the public concern with water quality on the Gulf of Mexico. Prior to the end of April and first of May we quickly took water samples for clinical testing of both our Gulf and inland waters to determine the baseline for the existing waterways. With this baseline we are able to know what is a clean and acceptable level for people who participate in water activities.
We must and will do all we can to ensure the environmental protection of our citizens and our tourists. Towards that end, I am working through staff to submit a request to e-Constellation (Unified Command) to perform weekly testing on Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key. This water sampling would be tested and the results compared against the baseline. If there is no detectable difference between the test and the baseline then the water will be deemed safe.
If the water is significantly in variation from the baseline we will work with the State Health Department and notify our citizens and visitors. The plan is to take one sample on Pensacola Beach and the following week take a sample from Perdido Key and return to Pensacola Beach the following week and so forth as we proceed through the summer and fall season. We believe the cost of this testing will be around $25,000 but would seem the right allocation of resources from BP and e-Constellation to ensure the public’s safety and wellbeing.
I believe it is Escambia County’s responsibility to ensure the citizen’s wellbeing; however, if there is no detectable variation, then it is equally our responsibility to promote our economic entities. At this point there are many details of the testing plan yet to be resolved; however, I do hope that it will be made available on a weekly basis to the public and to the media for publication.
If you have any questions or comments you are welcome to contact myself or Larry Newsom to discuss.
Grover C. Robinson, IV
Escambia Board of County Commissioners