Tar balls move farther west in Lake Pontchartrain

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 7, 2010

St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis said tar balls were sighted and confirmed as far west as the Carr Drive area of Slidell Wednesday morning.

The tar balls from the BP oil spill had been spotted Sunday in the Rigolets, and have now moved farther west into Lake Pontchartrain.

St. John the Baptist Parish officials met Tuesday with leaders from other parishes surrounding lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas, and they are monitoring the situation in St. Tammany Parish closely.

Officials said they want to establish a central command post, probably near Manchac.

In St. Tammany, Davis said surveillance crews are continuing to search the entire area and cleanup teams are being dispatched to each sighting. The tar balls are coming in under water where crews cannot see them or stop them until they surface, Davis said.

“I am calling upon Incident Command to immediately stop the use of oil dispersants,” Davis said. “Breaking the oil down so that it travels underwater and resurfaces is creating a situation where we can neither see it nor fight it. This is not a prudent course of action. We are fighting as fast and hard as we can, but this enemy is unseen.”