More than 90 percent of the hard boom initially deployed as part of the federal-led response but now potentially posing more risk than it offers protection for vital shorelines in Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle has now been recovered. Because virtually no visible oil has been spotted on the surface of the Gulf in these areas recently, and in order to protect shorelines from any potential damage caused by boom in severe weather, the Incident Command Post at Mobile (ICP Mobile) announced that more than 1.5 million feet of hard boom has been recovered from those state waters.
Responders remain ready to deploy boom should it be needed to protect the coast from any new threats from oil that may emerge in the coming days and weeks.
“Removal of hard boom is the right operational decision,” said U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Steven Poulin, Incident Commander at ICP Mobile. “We remain fully committed to this response and stand prepared to redeploy boom should that be necessary as well as remove any oily material from the shoreline as quickly as possible in our continued effort to protect the Gulf Coast and its natural beauty.”
ICP Mobile has worked with federal, state and local officials to evaluate plans for boom removal. During extreme weather the boom could become a navigational or safety hazard, or could damage environmentally sensitive lands. After the boom is removed, it is inspected, cleaned, repaired (as necessary) and stored at sites along the Gulf Coast for immediate redeployment should the need arise. Boom that cannot be redeployed is recycled or reused to the fullest extent practical.