Oil spill

Officials said response from professionals and volunteers to the March 22 Galveston Bay oil spill was textbook. ABOVE: Cleanup crews fill bags with oiled sand and debris at Big Reef in Galveston on March 26.

Courtesy photo by Petty Officer 2nd STEPHEN LEHMANN/U.S. Coast Guard

The response to the accident on March 22 that spilled oil into Galveston Bay was first rate. Time and again, experts used the same word — textbook.

The response was immediate. A lot of workers and equipment was mobilized quickly.

The priorities of the operation were right. Crews worked to minimize environmental damage. They then focused on reopening the shipping lanes to minimize economic damage.

Efforts to inform the public were good, though not perfect.

While the performance of the professionals in the central command was good, diligent and tireless, local folks made their performance better.

When high winds blew booms out of position and oil was getting into sensitive areas, workers with the Galveston Island Beach Patrol or volunteers let the work crews know. Galveston’s officials did well in advocating for a thorough job.

This was a good job containing the damage from a bad accident.

(3) comments

Steve Fouga

"Textbook response" -- it sure seems that way. Kudos all around!

As a relatively new G-Town resident I also noted the locals don't seem very upset. I guess dozens of hurricanes and tropical storms tend to put things in perspective.

I do hope as much effort is put into cleaning the beachfront rock groins, the jetties, and the rocks at Seawolf as is put into cleaning sandy beaches and grassy estuaries. Maybe this is already happening, but since some of those areas are still closed to the public, I can't tell what is being done.

Hopefully the most modern and effective biological techniques are being used, as opposed to volunteers with wire brushes...

Miceal O'Laochdha

It is my guess that local (Island) contractors like T&T and local MSRP vessel played key roles down in the nitty-gritty of the spill response.

If that is correct, a profile of their work would be an excellent subject of a newspaper article.

George Croix

It was no doubt greatly helpful that the representatives of government who showed up on scene evidently had their heads screwed on straight, and came to do a job, not make politics, thus freeing up actual spill response to respond to the spill, not respond to a litany of accusations, showboating, unnecessary foot dragging and mud slinging.
It's always a pleasure to work with a team that knows what a team is, and acts accordingly...
These guys did a good job all around.

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