BP Wants To Wash Away the Evidence

On July 19, BP requested that the Corps give them the go-ahead to, instead of clean up and dispose of the oil, just push the contaminated sand on Grand Terre Island back into the Gulf! They call this process “Surf Washing,” the idea being that the waves will “clean” the polluted sand. To add insult to injury, BP wanted “verbal approval” of this project on the same day that they submitted their request to the Corps! While this “surf washing” has apparently been done on public beaches where they want to clean up “stained” sand, I can’t see any justification to do it on Grand Terre Island. Image of Grand Terre II, from BP’s Surf Washing ProposalWhile I won’t get into all of the reasons why this is a bad idea (I am sure you can come up with a few yourself), some of our major concerns are: It is BP’s responsibility to remove the oil, not re-introduce it back into the ecosystem, as this proposal would do.BP supplied no scientific data to show that organisms and microorganisms that reside in the tidal zone will not be impacted.BP didn’t state how much oil they would put back out into the Gulf.BP did not supply information as to how this would impact the habitat of the threatened piping plover and nesting birds.You get the idea…and there were many other issues as well. If you want to check out our full comments, go here. Also, if you want to see BP’s proposal, along with many agency letters objecting to this proposal, you can go here.This proposal has come out when there are transitions happening at the New Orleans Corps. Col. Alvin Lee will be moving on, with his replacement coming from the Charleston District. We would like to thank Col. Lee for taking a strong and rational stance regarding the questionable oil response proposals that have come across his desk the past few months. We hope that his successor will also demand good science and be as transparent as Col. Lee has been during the BP Drilling Disaster. Matt is Water Resources Program Director for GRN

Scroll to Top