NACo tracking counties affected by oil spill
As residents and officials in Gulf Coast communities deal with or prepare for the arrival of oil on their shores from the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, the Washington-based National Association of Counties (NACo) is watching with them. An article on the NACo website gives information on the steps county and parish officials in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida are taking to recover from the environmental and economic consequences of the spill.
British Petroleum’s (BP) Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank on April 20, and all efforts by the company to stop the resulting flow of millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf have failed or have been only partially successful. As of May 20, 34.5 miles of Louisiana shoreline was affected by the leak, including parts of Plaquemines and Terrebonne parishes, according to NACo’s article. Mississippi, Alabama and Florida officials are readying plans for the effects the oil will have on the states’ environment, fishing industry and tourism. “We have geared up … to wait,” Connie Rocko, president of the Harrison County, Miss., Board of Supervisors, told NACo.
The NACo article takes a detailed, state-by-state look at the oil spill’s impact. Some highlights include:
*Alabama officials fear a $191 million hit, largely lost tourism dollars, in Baldwin and Mobile counties.
*While BP has ultimate responsibility to pay for the effects of the oil leak, counties and parishes are already expending their own resources — including time, staff or money — and will seek reimbursement.
*The so-called “loop currents” that circle the Gulf place western Florida at risk.
Read the entire NACo article.