July 5th, 2010
03:51 PM ET

Tar balls hit Lake Pontchartrain shores

Tar balls believed to be from the undersea gusher in the Gulf of Mexico have reached the shores of Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain, a foundation that monitors the watershed reported Monday.

The affected area covers a stretch of up to five miles near the city of Slidell, east of New Orleans, said Anne Rheams, executive director of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation. She estimated the amount of oil that has reached the lake at less than 100 barrels, and there was no sign of impact to wildlife as of Monday.

"They are about the size of a silver dollar, maybe a little bigger, kind of dispersed in long intervals. It's not as dense as it could be, so we're thankful for that," Rheams said.

Researchers have estimated that between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels (1.5 million to 2.5 million gallons) of oil have been gushing from a BP oil well into the Gulf daily since April 20, when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank off the coast of Louisiana.

Read the full CNN.com story

soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. damiao


    July 5, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

      in the latest update of this article you can see a CLEAR IMAGE of the (fast, simple and easy) modification of the BP's tool that would have allowed them to STOP the oil spill in the EARLY DAYS of May

      July 5, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Steve

    One wonders how tar, made from pitch or coal, is making it to gulf shores. Heavy crude oil is not tar, nor is bitumen.

    July 5, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • marian

      Tar is a component of crude oil. When the oil weathers and separates in the water, the heavier part of the crude shows as a tar ball.

      July 5, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. tanya

    I think BP is being given entirely too much control over this entire thing....... it is a natural disaster of unnaturalmakings" the government needs to strp in and take over.

    July 5, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Takara

      The government doesn't have the expertise to handle it. It's not like they have scientists at every whim. The real professionals are the people in the industry.

      July 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • ResidentofLA

      The govt. has been in the thick of this since the beginning. The Coast Guard is in on every decision every step of the way as are local, state, and federal govt. officials. Don't kid yourself. BP has had no control over the clean up even though they will be picking the bill up since the accident happened. Unfortunately, this isn't too smart or efficient as the expertise lies w/ private industry.

      Anytime you add govt. to the mix, all you get is alot more people looking over everyone's shoulders, alot more input from those that know nothing about whatever is taking place – in this case an oil spill (w/ exception of Coast Guard b/c they do train for these scenarios), alot more red tape, and a slowed down process. Govt. never has and never will be efficient w/ scenarios such as this.

      July 5, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Government is helping enough. This is BP mess and they should make a better effort to clean it up. Besids, they have better experts to handle all this spill!

      July 5, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      To Takara and ResidentofLA,

      The federal government has plenty of qualified scientists that can better handle this mess than BP, and more importantly carry with them much less bias than BP workers. BP has "real professionals" for sure – professional con-artists and unethical liars. If your standard for professionalism is BP's handling of this disaster, you are a signed, sealed, and delivered moron. Your fallacy of thinking is that private industry is more efficient and better prepared – have you read BP's ridiculous excuse for a manual to deal with major oil spills? You need to stop feeding your ignorance with Fox news, and explore more independent sources of information. With all of the corruption seething from that company, we have a clear and present danger to the integrity of this country, and it is BP. Open your eyes people, and wake up to the slavery that is alive and well in America.

      July 5, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JP

    I saw on another blog that they had an article in a Bayou paper that an employee at the root of the Horizon blow out was an Environmentalist Kook job that wanted to teach BP a lesson and stop them from drilling. He intentionally sabotaged the equipment so that the well would leak..Did anyone else see this? Is it true?

    July 5, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • marian

      Not true! People are making things up to encourage off-shore drilling. To be fair to the pro-drilling side of things, there are thousands of oil rigs operating that haven't blown out because the oil companies drilled them correctly. From all accounts, BP took shortcuts that led to this well blowing out.

      July 5, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Sure, rush and glenn are trying very hard to find a strawman!

      July 5, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. matt

    it is not heavy crude, it's light...maybe that's why

    July 5, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. suzanne

    How can 100 barrels of oil not affect the wildlife? Just because there are no visibible signs as of yet doesn't mean its not happening. What are they waiting for?; Dead animals to wash up!

    July 5, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Davie W.

    I lived outside of Lake Ponchartrain, and am guessing there are more bodies out there than tar balls. Cajuns have their own kind of law enforcement.

    July 5, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chopswell

      Up here in rural Iowa, we call it "Corn Justice." 900 acres and a John Deere backhoe. Good Luck!

      July 5, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • sugarmama

      Actually, Cajuns have a very low murder rate. Besides, most Cajuns live out on the other side of Baton Rouge and wouldn't have to drive all the way to Lake Pontchartrain to dump anything. There are enough local waterways,why would they bother? Clearly you don't know jack about South Louisiana.

      July 5, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. www.gulfspilladvice.com

    Check out the oil video on my site that shows oil in the lake. Thanks to the YouTubber that filmed it.


    July 5, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Meriska

    We are so screwed!

    July 5, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Brian

    We keep talking about "tar balls." Crude oil is a complicated substance containing many chemicals. Are they testing the water to see what toxic chemicals it contains?

    July 5, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. awesomenewss

    Time to sell that beach front property.

    July 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chopswell

      Good luck getting any offers...even for 1/2. For me, if I were still down there, I'd be moving inland, to the West-asap. It's gonna hit the fan here soon....and above the fan (on the 20th floor!)

      July 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dave

    Isn't Lake Pontchartrain the largest fresh-water source in the area? Is oil getting into the drinking water?

    July 5, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Darth Vader

    The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant when compared to the force.

    July 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      If only the Republican Party would turn from the dark side.

      July 5, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sandra

    Oil dumping has been done in Lake Pontchartrain since I can remember. There was a fishing and swimming ban there for decades. I think this is just more of that and not spill related.

    July 5, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. tarball

    BP is sinking the oil using dispersant, that way they can amortize the cost of clean up over 15 years. Tarballs will be washing ashore in the Panhandle and on the shores of Louisiana and Alabama every time a storm comes into the Gulf.
    Big Oil always makes the public pay for their mistakes just like in Alaska. 20 years from now BP will still not have "made it right".

    July 5, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
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