Frustrations with the dwindling response of BP and the U.S. Coast Guard to environmental and safety complaints about the removal of oil and cleanup equipment used during BP's Gulf oil spill in April 2010 bubbled to the surface again at Wednesday's monthly meeting of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.
Attorney Drue Banta Winters of the governor's office, who is bird-dogging BP environmental issues, said the Coast Guard told BP that it no longer will be required to remove oil from Fort Livingston, a pre-Civil War era structure at the eroded western end of Grand Terre Island.
Oil from the BP spill washed into the fort, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, coating some floors and walls.
"The Coast Guard is making a distinction between cleaning the oil in and around the structure and the oil on the structure," Winters said. "They consider cleaning the oil on the structure 'conservation.'"
She said a survey in July 2012 found that oil was in the water and the sediments in contact with the fort's walls, leaving some of the historic masonry tacky.
Even more recently, she said, fresh wet oil was found in significant quantities behind bricks in the walls, and on wall seams and cracks.
Winters said the Coast Guard's decision to not require BP to clean the oil at the fort came after the completion of five parts of what was supposed to be an eight-part oil removal assessment that began in May 2012.
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