[StBernard] St. Bernard Parish Oil Spill Update; ; training ending; deploying to begin soon

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Sat May 1 13:13:37 EDT 2010

St. Bernard Parish officials update action plan

Training for first phase of local fishermen nearly complete; deploying of
protective booms to begin soon;

More training is planned for additional fishermen

St. Bernard Parish officials announced Saturday at mid-day that training of
fishermen to deploy protective booms is nearly complete. The fishermen will
soon be deployed to take measures to protect St. Bernard's coastline from
the drifting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon, an
oil rig operated by British Petroleum that was drilling in 5,000 feet of
water about 40 miles offshore when it exploded last week.

There will be more training planned. A certain number of fishermen who had
signed up with St. Bernard Parish to volunteer their boats were called late
Friday night to come to the Saturday morning training. This first phase of
fishermen will allow them to work alongside BP contractors to place
protective measures in St. Bernard as part of BP's Vessel of Opportunity

More training is planned. The training is specifically for St. Bernard

Local commercial fisherman who can assist in any local efforts to protect
our coastline in St. Bernard can continue sign up with St. Bernard Parish
Government at the website www.sbpg.net at the Contact Us button on top of
the web site.

Please include the following information: Vessel name, Owner/Captain name,
Contact Number or Email if available, Length of Vessel, Horse Power and

St. Bernard Parish will send this volunteer list to British Petroleum for
the Vessel of Opportunity program which may hire locals to help with the
spill. Additionally, it will be kept for St. Bernard Parish for any
secondary response efforts.

If you have difficulty sending through the website, you may send the
information to kbazile at sbpg.net <mailto:kbazile at sbpg.net> .

Meanwhile, St. Bernard officials have stressed that the drinking supply is
safe because the parish's only intake is far inland on the Mississippi
River. Furthermore, state regulators have assured parish officials that
smells should not be harmful. Persons with special respiratory conditions
should be mindful of the odors. President Taffaro asked that residents
report any odors to the St. Bernard Office Homeland Security and Emergency
Preparedness at 504-278-4268. When calling, please be specific about the
time and location of the odor.

Current projections show that the oil should reach the Chandeleur Islands
and the outer edges of the Biloxi Marsh by Sunday. Based on those
projections and the continued cooperation with the Coast Guard and BP, St.
Bernard enjoyed the benefits of this increased cooperation and BP laid down
some booms today in St. Bernard waters. However, efforts on Friday were
stymied by tidal and weather conditions which make booming in some areas

The long term goal is that over several days workers will continue to place
multiple layers of both hard booms, which are meant to contain the oil, and
absorbent booms, which are meant to absorb the oil.

St. Bernard Parish Councilman Fred Everhardt said he wanted fishermen who
signed up to know that there will be more phases of fishermen being called
to help. Those who received phone calls inviting them to the training on
Saturday are only Phase 1.

Please monitor the news for additional information. Updates also will be
posted on the parish website at www.sbpg.net.


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