NEW ORLEANS BP will no longer be responsible for cleaning up oil that washes up on the Gulf Coast unless officials can prove it comes from the companys well that blew out in 2010, causing the worst offshore spill in U.S. history, according to a plan approved by the Coast Guard and obtained by The Associated Press.
The plan marks the near end of the cleanup phase of the oil spill, according to the Nov. 2 agreement obtained by the AP on Tuesday. Now, BP will turn its attention to restoring areas damaged by the spill that began on April 20, 2010, when the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded, killing 11 workers. About $1 billion has been set aside for those projects, an official says.
About 90 percent of the Gulf coast has been deemed clean, according to officials. The plan spells out protocol for when an area still needs to be cleaned and when BPs responsibility for that ends.
Louisiana officials wouldnt give their approval because they were concerned about what they perceived as a lack of long-term monitoring in the document. They also complained that the Coast Guard gave them only five days to review the plan, according to a letter sent to the agency by Garret Graves, a top aide to Gov. Bobby Jindal for coastal affairs.
That concern was echoed by Ralph Portier, an oil spill cleanup expert with Louisiana State University.
If we have learned anything from Valdez and Ixtoc, there needs to be an awareness for long-term monitoring, Portier said.