Landrieu Sends Letter to Coast Guard Urging Improved BP Spill Response
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., has sent a letter to the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., expressing her concerns regarding gaps in the ongoing response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
"There is significant concern that spill-related needs are not being adequately addressed under the Coast Guard's direction," the letter reads. "I met on July 25th with representatives from the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and Jefferson, Lafourche and St. Tammany Parishes to discuss these issues. The Louisiana Legislature has also passed a resolution calling on the Coast Guard and Congressional delegation to intervene, and my staff received a briefing on August 1 from Rear Admiral Cari Thomas, Assistant Commandant for Response Policy, about the Coast Guard's current activities. As a result of these discussions, I have become concerned about the current response posture in Louisiana and the presence of environmental and navigational hazards."
In the letter, Sen. Landrieu specifically expresses her concern that the Coast Guard has transitioned numerous segments of shoreline out of active monitoring, despite the fact that much of Louisiana's coast is inaccessible wetlands, thereby reducing the effectiveness of citizen reporting. State officials have also reported to Sen. Landrieu that the Coast Guard has transitioned many areas of coastline without adequately assessing them. She also requests that the Coast Guard assure removal of submerged oil mats, once a review determines that such removal is technically feasible and environmentally beneficial. Finally, Sen. Landrieu urges the Coast Guard to respond to concerns that orphaned boom anchors are posing a threat to navigation. Thus far, the State of Louisiana has documented 20 incidents of boats colliding with orphaned boom anchors, but the Coast Guard has yet to act.
Sen. Landrieu writes that while she appreciates "the practical need to wind down response activities in areas that have been inspected, remediated, and are highly unlikely to be re-oiled ... state and local officials have expressed real concerns to me about these outstanding needs and the current level of effort."
Read the full letter.
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