BP’s Deepwater Horizon Spill Claimants Still Struggling Four Years Later
Four years after the now-infamous BP (NYSE:BP) Deepwater Horizon oil spill, citizens of Grand Isle, Louisiana are still seeing oil wash up on their beaches, and many are frustrated with claims and advertisements by the company, which contend that the gulf is clean and the crisis is over, according to a Reuters report Friday.
The spill, which began with an explosion on April 20, 2010, killed eleven workers, sank the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and unleashed an uncontrolled well which gushed oil for eighty-seven days. By the time the well was officially sealed and the flow was stopped at the end of September of that year, it was estimated that about 200 million gallons of oil had polluted the ocean; the spill is the largest ever recorded in U.S. history.
Reuters spoke with Jules Melancon, the last remaining oyster fisherman on the island, who says he still hasn’t found a single live oyster in his leases since the BP spill; now, he relies on an onshore oyster farm to make his living. “They got an advert on TV saying they fixed the Gulf but I’ve never been fixed,” Melancon said in the interview with Reuters. Melancon was compensated by BP, but claims that the sum was inadequate given the damages.
Grand Isle, an island 50 miles south of New Orleans, was one of the most affected areas following the spill, and BP’s payouts have created tensions between those residents who have received compensation and those who haven’t. Meanwhile, the island has struggled to attract tourists, and all but one of the island’s restaurants has closed. On the beaches at Grand Isle, Reuters reports, streaks of oil and tar balls, which contain the most toxic form of oil, still litter the seashore. According to a BP spokesman, however, none of these remnants of the spill threaten human health.