GULFPORT, Miss.–There may be no more visible signs of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill from 2010 on Mississippi’s beaches. That’s why the company and the U.S. Coast Guard are saying the cleanup effort is officially over, about three years and two months after the explosion that sent 11 men to their deaths and caused multiple environmental and economic impacts.
“The local officials will probably tell you we’re seeing a lot of folks out on the beach, enjoying the beautiful beaches we have down here,” said Lt. Cmdr. Natalie Murphy, of the Coast Guard, “and that says a lot about the work that’s been accomplished over the last three years.”
Murphy said the decision to bring an official end to cleanup operations was based on how little oil is being detected now, even though millions of gallons were pumped from the uncapped well when the platform exploded.
“The amount of oil or tarballs that we’re seeing is so minute compared to the footprint that we used for a response.”
But, state officials will likely tell you all of the work is not over. BP is now in hot water legally with all the states affected and there’s a months-long trial still going on in federal court in New Orleans. Some of the money that has already been collected from BP is going to help fund the new minor league baseball stadium in Biloxi, and with more lawsuits still in the works, an end to the legal side of the matter is nowhere in sight.