The Gulf area may have to live with oil long after the beaches have been cleaned. Some residents are outraged that BP has been dumping oily waste in landfills in their areas.
After BP crews scoop up the oil off Gulf beaches, the waste is transported to Mississippi’s Pecan Grove landfill. Even workers’ protective suits, gloves, shovels, rakes and anything else that touches oil is buried there.
The Board of Supervisors in Harrison, Mississippi passed a resolution saying they don’t want any BP waste in their community but there is little they can do. BP has cut deals with Waste Management, the owners of the landfill. They answer to the state instead of local county government.
“We don’t want it,” President of the Board of Supervisors Connie Rocko told CNN’s Randi Kaye. “It is valuable landfill space and hazardous to our citizens. Take your waste somewhere else or please find an alternative.”
Rocko is concerned that oil could find its way into the water table and be harmful to the residents.
But Waste Management’s Ken Haldin says there’s nothing to be worried about. “It is an understandable concern because there is a lack of awareness,” he told CNN.
Haldin explained that Pecan Grove landfill is designated a nonhazardous site which means no liquid waste can be dumped there. There is a liner underneath the landfill that is designed to prevent waste from seeping into the water table.
In the past 24 hours alone, 150 tons of BP waste has been dumped there, said Haldin.
The EPA has ordered that BP waste disposal efforts must be transparent. The company must post details of all collected waste at their website.
But considering accusations that BP and the Coast Guard have tried to prevent reporters from covering the cleanup efforts, some may have grounds to question that transparency.
This video is from CNN.com, broadcast July 8, 2010.