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It was announced on Monday that BP will end active cleanup of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida by the middle of June after three years.
The Gulf Coast Incident Management Team, which has led the cleanup effort in states affected by the oil spill, will no longer lead the cleanup in these three states, reports NOLA. They will continue to lead the cleanup in Louisiana.
Oil finds in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida will now be reported to the National Response Center, according to CBS.
Eighty-four shorelines in Louisiana are still receiving cleanup care from the GCIMT. Twenty miles of land still await approval and there is no time frame for the state’s expected end of cleanup.
“We've reached a point in some areas where the impact to the environmentally sensitive land outweighs the minimal amounts of oil being collected,” said Capt. Duke Walker, federal on-scene coordinator for the Deepwater Horizon Response, according to the Los Angeles Times.
While some see this as a sign of progress, others think it may be too soon.
“I don't think BP should be relieved of saying clean-up is over anywhere until there's a lengthy period of time where there is no oil and we haven't seen that yet,” commented Billy Nungesser, president of the Plaquemines Parish in Louisiana.
“Resorting back to the legacy NRC system is flawed,” stated Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Chairman Garret Graves. “We have seen numerous times where responders have come hours or days later -- in some cases without access to boats.”
BP has spent more than $14 billion on cleanup efforts in the gulf as a result of the April 20, 2010 oil spill. The oil rig explosion that caused the spill also killed 11 workers and a huge fire, visible 35 miles away.