Blimp to help direct oil spill in Gulf of Mexico delayed until Friday because of weather conditions

Tuesday, a blimp was scheduled to arrive in the Gulf Coast but will be delayed until Friday because of high winds weather conditions along the coastal area; the US Navy blimp will help to detect oil in the Gulf of Mexico, direct the skimming vessels to where the oil is, and search for wildlife that is danger of coming into the oil slick, according to the Coast Guard.

The blimp is called the MZ-3A, it's 178 feet long, and can hold a crew of up to 10 people. The Navy said that it can stay in the air longer to assess the current situation, and it requires less fuel. The Coast Guard has been tracking the oil from the sky, but at a more expensive cost.

"The aircraft get on top of the oil. They can identify what type of oil it is and they can vector in the skimmer vessels right to the spot," Coast Guard Capt. Brian Kelley said.

They hope that the blimp will help to capture the oil before it gets near land.

Over the weekend, the world’s largest oil skimmer has been the Gulf for testing and was assigned a 25 square mile area to separate oil from the water; the A Whaler has the capacity to skim 21 millions of gallons of oil per day. Results from weekend testing were inconclusive because of rough waters in the Gulf, and will be extended for the next few days. If approved, BP intends to lease the Taiwanese vessel to help with cleanup in the Gulf. The vessel was built this year and it is twice as long as the Titanic.

Saturday, scientists from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) met with BP to discuss the chemicals that are being used to break up the oil spill that sits on top of the water in the Gulf of Mexico. Thursday, the EPA released its findings on the toxicity testing on eight dispersants used in the Gulf. The findings showed that the chemicals placed in the water without oil did not disrupt marine life, but more tests are needed to show what happens when the chemicals are mixed with oil. For more on that story, click here.

Last week the state of Louisiana asked BP to pay for the mental health costs of residents in the state because of the oil spill, but BP isn’t paying. Last week, the first suicide because of the oil spill and loss of income occurred in Louisiana. Captain William Allen Kruse committed suicide last Wednesday, after his life and lifestyle changed dramatically because of oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The first oily tar bars washed ashore in Mississippi last week, and by that same afternoon a 23-person crew began to clean up the mess along the shores of Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Hurricane Alex hit Mexico and Texas last week and residents in the Gulf were concerned about how it would affect the oil spill cleanup efforts.

A lawsuit was filed from a group of companies that state the government has no evidence that the existing operations pose a threat to the Gulf of Mexico, and asked that the ban be removed. The companies provide boats and equipment to the drilling industry.

Actor Kevin Costner has invested about $26 million into his Ocean Therapy Solutions machine, and six of the machines were sent to the Gulf for testing. BP ordered 32 more machines that recycle water to separate the oil.
Source: CNN

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