More than two tons of oily material have been pulled from a tar mat discovered this weekend on Fourchon Beach as part of a post-Tropical Storm Karen cleanup to look for oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil leak.
About 4,100 pounds had been removed as of Sunday evening, and crews were continuing Tuesday to clear the tar mat, which is of undetermined size, said Petty Officer Michael Anderson, public information officer with the U.S. Coast Guard Gulf Coast Incident Management Team.
Anderson said the material they’re recovering in the tar mats and tar balls is usually about 80 percent to 90 percent soil and sand and about 10 percent to 20 percent oil.
Totals from Monday and Tuesday’s cleanup were not available.
Cleanup is expected to continue Wednesday with mechanical removal of oily material and with the help of snorkel cleanup crews who wade in the water taking samples looking for buried oil, Anderson said.
The oiled area on Fourchon Beach appears to be made up of a large tar mat with smaller tar mats around it.
This weathered oil was buried under sand, but was uncovered by the passage earlier this month of the tropical storm.
The cleanup started last week with hundreds of pounds of tar balls and oily material being picked up by cleanup crews.
Although Tropical Storm Karen didn’t rise to the criteria used to trigger a post-storm assessment, the Coast Guard’s federal on-scene coordinator decided it was important to get teams on the beaches to look for oil, Anderson said.