Jun 2, 2010 9:36 PM by Chris Welty
VENICE, La. (AP) - Gov. Bobby Jindal said federal officials have
approved plans to build five sand berms to protect Louisiana
barrier islands from oil encroaching from the Gulf oil spill.
Jindal and other local officials met Tuesday with Coast Guard
Adm. Thad Allen urging approval of the plan, which would create
protective sand barriers to absorb oil.
Earlier, federal officials approved six berms but said BP would
be required to pay for only one. Jindal wants BP to pick up the
entire $350 cost of a larger 24-berm plan.
Allen said it was clear the berms would offer a "multiplier"
effect protecting not only the islands but coastal marshes.
Jindal had sharply criticized delays in approving the berm plan.
Also Wednesday, the Thomas Jefferson, a National Oceanographic
and Administration research vessel, was to sail from New Orleans to
the Gulf to sample the underwater environment in the spill area.
Scientists have reported massive underwater plumes of oil, and
say they are a threat to marine life. But BP CEO Tony Hayward
earlier this week denied there are any plumes of oil emanating from
the site of the Deepwater Horizon, the BP-operated rig that
exploded and sank in April about 40 miles southeast of the mouth of
the Mississippi River.
NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco said the Thomas Jefferson's
10-day mission will probe underwater oil and dispersant and could
resolve the dispute.
In Mississippi, Gov. Haley Barbour said he's asked BP and the
White House to put more boats off the Mississippi coast to
intercept oil after a two-mile long slick of crude washed up
Tuesday on a barrier island.
Barbour says he doesn't want to be surprised again.
He said Wednesday the White House and BP promised to provide
more vessels near the state's barrier islands to protect them from
Barbour says most of the oil that washed up on Petit Bois Island
was gone Wednesday, leaving little damage, but he expects more to
threaten other barrier islands soon. He said it was a "wake-up
call" that defenses must be increased.