Rally for the Truth

Rally for the Truth
Dean Blanchard, Karen Hopkins & Stephen Baldwin

Monday, September 13, 2010

MORE BULLSHIT: Mississippi officials say no evidence of submerged oil found after two weeks of tests

Posted: Friday, September 10, 2010 Mississippi officials say no evidence of submerged oil found after two weeks of tests SEAFOOD.COM NEWS [Sun Herald] By MICHAEL NEWSOM Sept 10, 2010 (c) Copyright 2010, The Sun Herald. All Rights Reserved. SHIP ISLAND Coast Guard and other officials said Thursday they've found no evidence of submerged oil in Mississippi waters since testing began a few weeks ago. Representatives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Coast Guard took journalists to see testing, which is part of the ongoing 'Sub-Surface Monitoring and Assessment Program.' They said that in the area from Mississippi to Florida, about 8,500 samples have been taken so far, about 50 of which came back suspicious, but none of those suspicious samples were collected in Mississippi waters. Of those 50 samples, only two came back positive for oil. Both were from Pensacola Pass in Florida. 'We're encouraged by the results so far,' said Coast Guard Lt. John Garr, who lead the briefing on tests in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. 'Less than one percent of the (samples) that we have made have gone off for further testing.' In Louisiana, which was harder hit by the oil from the BP gusher, Unified Command workers are doing similar tests. Thursday two Vessels of Opportunity boats Ñ manned by VOO operators and Coast Guard personnel Ñ worked just north of Ship Island. Typically, crews drop a line with a small absorbent pad and a weight on to soak up any oil. Teams also use long bottles to collect water samples, and another tool called a 'ponar' which is a clam-shaped scooping device lowered to the bottom to collect sediment. There's also a flourometer, which emits light to help identify oil compounds. Coast Guard officials said the machine is sensitive enough to detect oil concentrations as low as 1 part per trillion. This round of tests are expected to be complete by Sept. 14, Garr said, but another larger effort is about to begin. This week, scientists and others from the Unified Command are putting the final touches on a plan to look for submerged oil and dispersants and also figure out ways to dispose of those, in not only the Mississippi Sound, but the greater Gulf of Mexico. Retired Adm. Thad Allen, who is in charge of the federal government's response to the oil gusher, requested the massive subsurface plan, which is being compiled now using suggestions from Gulf Coast scientists. Allen is expected to sign the plan in the coming days and it will be carried out soon after. Last week, while they were meeting in Biloxi, those involved with the plan said they expect to submit their expenses to BP. For now, the current round of tests continue, while some South Mississippians continue to express skepticism that the situation is much worse than what they're being told, raising questions to officials at public meetings across the Coast. Gary Petrae, of the NOAA Scientific Support Team, said Thursday on the tour that despite the fears of some locals, the seafood and waters are safe, according to extensive tests already done. Petrae said he's been eating all the seafood he can get while working on the Coast. 'We're out there, we're looking and we're doing everything we can,' Petrae said. 'We are doing things that we've never done before ... We're confident that we are not finding anything. Our test results are showing that we are not finding anything, and even when we're suspicious (of oil being present), we're finding that we're wrong. We're doing the best we can and we can't find it.' John Sackton, Editor And Publisher Seafood.com News 1-781-861-1441 Email comments to jsackton@seafood.com

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