July 20, 2010
GOVERNOR BARBOUR SAYS STATE REMAINS PREPARED
TO FIGHT TO PROTECT COAST
“Although the well has been capped since late last week and the leak has been at least temporarily stopped, oil remains on the water in the vicinity of the well site, approximately 100 miles from Mississippi’s shoreline. Clearly, we must stay prepared to protect the Coast.
“BP and the Coast Guard are focused today on collecting oil offshore, but the threat of oil coming toward the Mississippi Coast persists. Aerial and on-the-water surveillance to detect oil near Mississippi has continued daily and will continue until the threat is gone. If this oil comes our way, we expect it to be manageable and plan to collect as much as possible in the water with our oil skimming resources. The situation has improved greatly, but we must stay prepared.
“Everyone involved in oil spill response is also closely watching the tropical depression currently near Puerto Rico. The National Hurricane Center projects this disturbance could become a tropical storm and enter the Gulf of Mexico. If this storm enters the Gulf, oil spill response operations will be hampered, if not totally halted. The Federal Unified Command has begun moving equipment away from the Coast to safer locations. Additional equipment will be evacuated if the tropical depression strengthens and enters the Gulf.
“Those on the Coast should keep an eye on weather reports over the next several days and listen for any announcements about effects of the storm on the oil spill.”