More than three years have passed since the BP oil spill, and Florida’s coastline is still seeing remnants of oil. In fact, while most of the oil that washed up on shore was in the northern most part of Florida, the panhandle and surrounding areas, recent news is reporting that oil actually settled on a shelf offshore from the Tampa Bay within one year of the spill. Researchers are also linking this oil to lesions found in fish in the area.
“The oil that landed on the shelf is likely to stay there a long time,” said John Paul, an oceanography professor at the University of South Florida. Paul noted that oil is likely residing in the Sarasota Bay as well.
This discovery is another clear reminder of the impact the 2010 oil spill had on our environment and eco-system. From an economic perspective, the oil spill was crippling, and businesses are now beginning to see an uptick as they recover funds lost post-spill, via the Deepwater Horizon Settlement Program. Stephen Herman from Herman Herman & Katz commented on BP’s current PR campaign designed to deter potential claimants from being evaluated. “BP can cherry-pick examples for the news media and try to mislead the public, but the numbers determine causation.”
BP’s continuous effort to emphasize any potential flaws in the Program, including who is eligible for recovery and to what monetary extent, contradicts their original stance on the Program they approved, originally calling it “transparent, objective, and data-driven.”
It is evident that BP is now experiencing buyer’s remorse, yet the full extent of the destruction and consequences of the BP oil spill remain to be seen. All potential claimants are strongly encouraged to get evaluated to see if they are eligible for recovery.