BP removing booms from state’s coast

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 7, 2010

MOBILE (AP) — With the Gulf gusher capped and little oil washing ashore in Alabama, BP said Friday it has removed more than 80,000 feet of oil-blocking boom from state waters, but not everyone is happy with the turn of events.

The petroleum giant said it began taking boom out of the water because of tropical storm Bonnie, which moved into the Gulf late last month, and many of the barriers weren’t returned to the coast at the request of states.

Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon said local leaders aren’t being given input on the work and know only what they hear on the news.

“I’ve been given no written plan, but they are removing boom as fast as they can,” he said. “They’re getting their little red wagon packed and leaving town.”

Kennon said the company also refused to pay for maintaining a steel boom system that was constructed at a cost of $4.6 million to prevent oil from entering Perdido Bay, so the massive rig is being mothballed.

“What happens if a plume shows up at the mouth of the pass? I don’t know,” said Kennon.

Gov. Bob Riley’s office did not return messages seeking comment on whether it approves of the boom removal.