BP accused of dumping sand to cover up oily beach
Filed Under: Health & Science, US | Posted: 07/02/2010 at 2:26AM
Comments | Region: United States
A freelance photojournalist working in Louisiana to document the BP oil leak is reporting that he might have found a literal "cover-up."
C.S. Muncy’s photos and video show a thick layer of sand that he says was dumped by BP on top of the oily beach. Instead of cleaning up the mess, the accusation is that BP is covering it up.
Muncy says the sand, which looks in the video like it’s a layer on top, is covering tar balls and oil. His images show where the ocean is wearing away the new top layer, which he says is a different consistency than the sand underneath.
As Allison Kilkenny reported on Huffington Post, Muncy said:
"Closer to shore, there was this grainy, very rough shell-filled sand, and then you could see almost like a border where it just spilled over onto the beach sand, which is a very fine-grained sand. And it looked as if it was dumped. I mean, you could dig a few inches down, and you could see that it was a different type of sand beneath that, you know, without all the shell and grit."
Muncy also says BP had been busily working in the area the day before, and a man working for the local sheriff’s office told him that BP came and dumped all the sand.
In the video, Muncy says that when he kicked some of the tar deposits underneath the new sand layer, it was hard to move and felt like asphalt.
Blogger Shannyn Moore has more of Muncy’s photos at her blog.
If these allegations are true, it brings a whole new level of concern for local residents who have already been questioning BP’s efforts to clean up the area.
Kindra Arnesen, a local resident who has been given clearance to go inspect the cleanup effort as a BP "community liaison," has been reporting that the efforts are a disaster.
In a recent video, Arnesen describes "ponies and balloons," which means that when a government official (like the president or a Congressperson) comes to visit, BP trots out a whole bunch of workers to make it look like they’re cleaning up, but as soon as the official leaves, the "ponies and balloons" disappear.
The new claim by Muncy of a sand cover-up raises more questions about BP’s work, and concerned citizens are renewing calls for the president to step in and take more control of BP’s cleanup.
Note: Muncy is paying his own costs to be reporting from the Gulf. If you would like to support his work, you can do so via Paypal by clicking this link.