Council tells BP, Coast Guard not to leave boom anchors in wetlands

Oct 26th, 2010 | By | Category: Top Story

The St. Bernard Parish Council passed a resolution asking the Coast Guard and BP to remove all of their unused oil spill cleanup assets after learning from Parish President Craig Taffaro that boom anchors would be left in the wetlands.

“All we need is for some commercial fishermen to go retrieve these anchors, which they can do with their eyes closed,” said councilman Fred Everhardt, who sponsored the motion. “These guys are willing to jump overboard, I guarantee you, just tie a rope around it and it comes out the opposite way it went in.”

According to Taffaro, the Coast Guard said removing the anchors would harm the delicate wetlands where they’ve been placed. That reason didn’t sit well with the Council members or the Parish President.

“The question to that was, ‘it wasn’t disturbing to put them in the marsh, but it’s disturbing to take them out?’ That doesn’t make logical sense,” Taffaro said.

Taffaro said the parish has GPS coordinates of the boom anchors and could send teams to retrieve them, but Coast Guard and BP officials worried about accidentally removing a non-BP anchor or accidentally damaging an underwater pipeline.

“If removing or retrieving an anchor causes a problem, then fix that, too,” Taffaro said. “Don’t just leave it and call it a done deal.”

The motion passed unanimously.

“They need to return us to where we were pre-oil spill event, said Council Chairman Wayne Landry. “That’s their problem. Not ours. They’re the responsible party.”

The Parish Council also unanimously passed three resolutions related to parish infrastructure.

The first resolution called upon Taffaro to submit a grant application to the state Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism for funds to install new lighting at Sydney D. Torres Park. The development will include 20 light poles and electrical work. The project is estimated to cost $70,925.

The second resolution was sent as a thank you to the state Department of Transportation and Development for delaying work that would have closed the Claiborne Bridge beginning next month. That work is now postponed until after Mardi Gras.

The Council also voted up a resolution asking the DOTD to place a traffic light at the De La Ronde intersection with Judge Perez Drive. The intersection was heavily trafficked before Hurricane Katrina, but largely fell out of use until the shopping center called The Mall began to reopen earlier this year.

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