The Coast Guard, in concert with BP and NOAA, has conducted regular assessments of the sheen by aircraft and boat since its discovery. The observed sheen size has varied over time depending upon the conditions present. Samples of the sheen were taken by Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Morgan City Sept. 26 and sent to the Coast Guard Marine Safety Lab in New London, Conn. The Marine Safety Laboratory results indicate the sheen correlates to oil that originated from BP's Macondo Well. The exact source of the sheen is uncertain at this time but could be residual oil associated with wreckage and/or debris left on the seabed from the Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010.
The NOFI effectively informs BP and Transocean that the Coast Guard matched the sheen samples to the Deepwater Horizon spill or sunken drilling debris and that either party or both may be held accountable for any cost associated with further assessments or operations related to this sheen.
"BP's continued attempts to dodge responsibility for the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history must not continue. Despite a costly advertising campaign claiming that the gulf has bounced back from the 2010 oil disaster, the gulf is still reeling, both environmentally and economically. We may not know the full impact of the spill for years to come, but we do know that BP must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law, stop stalling, pay up and make the gulf whole.
"This latest slick shows us once again that the oil is still taking a toll on the gulf. The sooner full payment happens, the sooner environmental and economic restoration can begin for this region. We owe it to the Gulf of Mexico -- one of our national treasures -- to make sure BP does right for the people, wildlife and habitat of this region.
"Drilling experts are claiming it's unlikely that BP's Macondo well is leaking again and the Coast Guard feels the residual oil 'does not pose a risk to the shoreline,' but the slick is nonetheless a cause for concern for the wildlife and ecosystem of the gulf -- especially considering recent media reports suggesting BP has proposed a settlement offer that is significantly less than what it would face at trial.
"Alarmingly, BP has purportedly offered a sum less than $20 billion. An amount so low would be inadequate to repair the gulf and would allow the oil giant -- which netted $25.7 billion in 2011 -- to escape paying what is required by law, what it can afford and what is fair in a case with such egregious environmental damage."
"BP must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. It's time for BP to stop stalling, pay up and make the gulf whole."
32 Years of Environmental Reporting for serious Environmental Professionals