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More oil-skimming booms to be installed

GULF OF MEXICO — According to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the Department of Marine Resources (DMR), additional layers of boom protection for Heron Bay, St. Louis Bay, Biloxi Bay and Pascagoula Bay will begin being installed this week as another preventive layer to the boom already in place.

State officials, BP, and the U.S. Coast Guard received input from local officials on locations for additional boom to augment what is already in place.

Mississippi currently has over 433,000 feet of boom, and this round will be more than 74,000 feet of boom. The boom ranges in various sizes from 42-inch ocean boom to 18-inch regular boom.

MDEQ executive director Trudy Fisher said, “We will not be satisfied until BP is doing all it can to protect our Coast. Input from local officials was valuable as BP was able to secure this boom to focus specifically on our river system bays. We all have learned some helpful lessons on strategic boom placement from the booming in Alabama and Louisiana including how they can be affected by currents and tides.

“This additional boom is another component of BP’s efforts, and we will continue to implement other measures to improve what is already in place. We are doing all we can to find effective countermeasures.”

The plan calls for boom in these four designated areas:

• 9,000 feet of 18-inch boom for Heron Bay

• 14,300 feet for St. Louis Bay (1,600 feet of 30-inch boom and 12,700 feet of 36-inch boom)

• 26,500 feet for Biloxi Bay (16,000 feet of 18-inch boom and 10,500 of 42-inch boom) with additional protection at Deer Island to include 800 feet of 18-inch boom and 2,200 feet of 42-inch boom on the north side of the island

• 21,000 feet of 18-inch boom for Pascagoula Bay

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