Environmental news from California and beyond

« Previous Post | Greenspace Home | Next Post »

Gulf oil spill: Most Texas tar balls unrelated to spill

July 9, 2010 |  4:42 pm

Lab tests indicate that most of the tar balls that washed up on Texas shores over the Fourth of July weekend were not related to the April 20 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Test results on tar balls from the Bolivar Peninsula and an east Galveston beach came back negative for relation to the Deepwater spill, said Lionel Bryant, with the Coast Guard in Texas.

Preliminary lab results had indicated that the tar balls were related to the oil spill, but further testing came back negative, Bryant said.

This time of year, natural seeps of oil wash up on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Last weekend's tar balls could have been pushed in from recent tropical storms.  Tar balls were also collected off of McFaddin Beach, east of the Bolivar Peninsula, which came back positive.

Over the past two days, tar balls washed up on Crystal Beach off the Bolivar Peninsula, and south of the Peninsula on Galveston Beach. Samples are still being tested.

"It's not a catastrophe," Bryant said. "We're going to get out there and clean it up, regardless of what the source is."

-- Nicole Santa Cruz in New Orleans

Photo: Thad Allen inspects a tar ball on Louisiana's Fourchon Beach June 2. Credit: Gerald Herbert/Associated Press