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Oil Spill Plan Failed

May 3rd, 2010 by flanews

Hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil gushing from a damaged well are headed toward Florida’s beaches and there’s nothing to stop it. Just 15 miles of protective boom has been placed in the water near sensitive areas, but there’s little faith the barrier will hold. As Whitney Ray tells us, the state was never prepared for a disaster of this magnitude… an oil disaster many say will be the worst in US history.

The future of Florida’s gulf coast is in Mother Nature’s hands. The state wasn’t prepared for an oil disaster as massive as the one wind and currents could wash ashore on Florida’s beaches.

Federal law requires oil companies to keep resources on hand to respond to a disaster. Governor Charlie Crist isn’t pleased with BP’s plan.

“I have a significant concern that the party that created the problem is now the party responsible for solving the problem. I get that. That’s why I’m here,” said Crist.

The state, in conjunction with BP, only has 15 miles of boom, enough protective barrier to keep oil from a tanker spill at bay, but not enough to stop the hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil headed towards Florida’s beaches

Florida’s Secretary of the Department Environmental Protection, Mike Sole, says the boom won’t hold long.

“They are not failsafe and in fact they are prone to failing. A one knot current can cause product to either go under a boom or over a boom, a little bit of chop will no longer allow that boom to be successful,” said Sole.

Monday Governor Charlie Crist extended the state of emergency declaration south to Sarasota County. The Emergency Operation Center is in a partial activation mode.

The state if focusing on clean up efforts that will be needed once the oil makes landfall, while BP and the feds look for ways to stop the leak. As of noon Monday the oil slick was just 50 miles from Pensacola. 200-thousands gallons of oil is pouring out of the hole each day.

BP is paying for Florida’s clean up efforts and the state’s Attorney General says litigation is likely to come to recoup some of the economical losses the state might suffer from the damage.

Right to File Suit

People living or working on the gulf coast need to be wary of scam artists promising in advance to clean oil off their property. Florida’s Attorney General Bill McCollum issued the warning this morning. He says property owners also need to be careful not to sign away their right to sue BP.

“Please do not sign waivers. If somebody approaches you and says ‘waive your claim, make us harmless, we’ll clean this up for you’ don’t do that. And also don’t buy into just anybody who says we’ll clean something up for you. They may be scamming you,” said McCollum.

McCollum says a lawsuit is likely to follow the disaster once damages are figured, but doesn’t want to focus on the litigation while Florida is in a state of emergency.

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