[Guest post by DRJ]
A Texas official says tar balls from the BP oil spill have washed ashore near Galveston.
The Texas oil spill response plan for the Galveston Bay area is here and the master Gulf plan is here (NOTE: Both are .pdf links). As Commissioner Patterson states, Texas officials consistently forecast that any oil in Texas would be in the form of tar balls:
“Any oil reaching Texas shores is expected to be in the form of weathered tar balls, which cannot be prevented by boom deployment and would necessitate aggressive physical removal. Texas’ General Land Office (GLO) has five coastal offices equipped with boats, 4×4 trucks, trailers, ATVs, and skimmers available for response activities. Silt curtains could be deployed to protect washouts.
“The Texas GLO’s Oil Spill Prevention and Response Program is well equipped and well trained,” Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said. “We know this could have happened off the Texas coast, so we’re ready on any given day for a spill.”
Meanwhile, initial tests of the A Whale skimmer were inconclusive because of rough seas:
“After an initial 48-hour testing period, results remain inconclusive in light of the rough sea state we are encountering,” said Bob Grantham, spokesman for the company. “Over this same period, very few other skimmers have even been deployed. Therefore, working in close coordination with the US Coast Guard, we will be undertaking an additional testing period to make operational and technological adjustments aimed at improving skimming effectiveness given the actual conditions we are encountering in the Gulf.”
Anyone get the feeling this testing period may last until the well is capped? On the other hand, the government has made one firm decision: The Obama Administration will take over control of Gulf oil spill central information website.
UPDATED 7/10/2010: For a change, there’s good news for BP. Lab tests show most of the Texas tar balls weren’t from the BP oil spill after all.