Wednesday, May 11, 2011

BP working to remove tar mats on Perdido Key | Pensacola News Journal |

Originally Published by the Pensacola News Journal

BP working to remove tar mats on Perdido Key | Pensacola News Journal | "BP working to remove tar mats on Perdido Key"

BP contractors have begun work today to remove two more submerged oil mats just off the beach near Eden Condominium on Perdido Key.

The process is expected to take four days for each tar mat, weather permitting, said Floyd Sanders, section planning chief for BP’s Florida restoration organization.

These oil mats were discovered in late April by a shoreline assessment team of representatives from BP, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Coast Guard. One mat is just east and the other just west of the oil mat that was removed in March. Sanders said.

The mats are in about 3 feet of water and are being removed by an excavator sitting on the beach. The excavator is able to dig up the underwater mats that are buried in the sand on the Gulf floor. The excavator’s arm can reach up to 45 feet offshore.

Once the job is completed, the areas will be reassessed to make sure all of the mats were removed, Sanders said.

The operations are independent of, but coincide with, a plan BP is about to launch to test a number of sonar methods to search for suspected tar mats farther offshore – between water that is four feet deep out to the edge of the second sand bar -- along Pensacola and Perdido key beaches. That operation is expected to take more than two months.

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