After Isaac exposes oil, BP aims to dig out oil
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP PLC says it wants to aggressively clean up buried oil exposed on Louisiana’s beaches by Hurricane Isaac’s churning waves.
The company wants to dig deep into beaches and remove oil buried since a BP well blew out on April 20, 2010, leading to the nation’s largest offshore spill.
But digging deep can bring its own problems — it can be harmful to creatures that live on beaches or feed on them and it also may lead to erosion by loosening up sand. Erosion is a constant worry in Louisiana because the state is losing land at an alarming rate.
Mike Utsler, the president of BP’s Gulf Coast Restoration Organization, said Tuesday the company has asked the Coast Guard and state and local officials for permission to do the “deep-cleaning.”
Tests confirm link between BP oil, post-Isaac tar
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Scientific testing has confirmed a link between oil from the massive BP spill and tar found on Alabama beaches after Hurricane Isaac.
Auburn University researcher Joel Hayworth said Tuesday a chemical analysis showed that tar balls collected after Isaac were associated with the type of oil spilled after the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010.
Auburn researchers collected about 15 pounds of tar balls after the storm, and officials from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach picked up still more.
BP is holding a media briefing in New Orleans to discuss its response after Isaac in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.
Schools closed by Hurricane Isaac begin to reopen
RESERVE (AP) — Schools closed by the drenching rains and gusty winds of Hurricane Isaac are beginning to reopen.
Officials say nine schools within the St. John the Baptist Parish School District reopened Monday with at least a 92 percent student attendance rate. District-wide attendance increased to almost 95 percent by Tuesday.
Superintendent of Schools Herbert Smith said employees have been “working tirelessly” to ensure a quick return to schools.
Several more schools damaged by the storm will reopen next week with students being rerouted to other local schools or campuses while repairs continue at their home campuses.
11,000 in St. John seek FEMA help
LAPLACE (AP) — About 11,000 St. John the Baptist Parish residents have asked FEMA to inspect their homes for flood damage from Hurricane Isaac.
Michael Byrne, a manager with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said Monday $13 million has been approved for residents affected by the flood as part of $45 million in aid approved statewide. Byrne says about 6,500 inspections have been completed.
Parish President Natalie Robottom tells The Times-Picayune (http://bit.ly/NWE9a2 ) she will ask the Parish Council Tuesday night to allow campers and mobile homes to be placed in front of homes under repair.
Robottom says parish inspectors will ensure the trailers have proper utility connections before permitting the inspections.
County hopes to begin cleanup
POPLARVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Pearl River County supervisors have awarded a contract for cleanup from Hurricane Isaac.
The Picayune Item reports (http://bit.ly/QCeyS8) that the $774,190 contract was awarded to Hensley R. Lee Contracting of Picayune for removal of debris generated by Hurricane Isaac on public lands and along public rights of way.
Supervisors also extended an emergency declaration for a third time in order to expedite debris removal.
All debris will be taken to the Central Landfill at Millard. There will be no burning.
Debris removal is expected to begin in the north and south of the county simultaneously.
Cleanup crews will not be allowed to on private property.
The debris has to be sorted and piled alongside a public right of way to be picked up.