May 19th, 2010
08:50 AM ET

Coast Guard: Tar balls found in Keys not from BP spill

Tar balls discovered on the Florida Keys shoreline are not connected to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Coast Guard said Wednesday.

Tests done "conclusively show" that the tar balls found on the shoreline do not match the type of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The source of the tar balls remains unknown at this time.

"The conclusion that these tar balls are not from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill incident in no way diminishes the need to continue to aggressively identify and clean up tar ball-contaminated areas in the Florida Keys," Capt. Pat DeQuattro, commanding officer of the Coast Guard's Key West sector said. "We will continue to operate as a Unified Command and utilize funding through the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund until we have successfully identified any additional tar balls on the shoreline and completed cleanup efforts."

WPBF: Read the latest and view pictures of the tar balls

soundoff (231 Responses)
  1. Network

    If you would wash those puppies once in a while, it wouldn't be an issue lol

    May 19, 2010 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Tar Baby Tar any Dawn?

      May 19, 2010 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tarballing: the new sport

    Paintballing is out. Lets go tarballing.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. Matt

    Just like the dolphins that have washed up on shore, there are people laying in wait to accuse oil companies of all unrelated problems. Don't think for a minute that this doesn't cost BP or the other contractors money. Millions of dollars in equipment alone have to be junked, and that doesn't include what the oil would have brought after being refined–as I understand this was sweet and light, which refineries pay top dollar for. Everyone acts like these people just don't care. It's their livelihood (and lives, in the case of the roughknecks on the platform) that are at stake; of course they care. We just need to stop discouraging talented young engineers from entering the oil and gas business, or more incidences like this will happen.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
    • RickinNY

      Yeah, because none of this will cost the American consumer in the end, right?

      May 19, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Jimmy

      Really? Why don't our tallented young engeneers come up with a way to wean us off of Oil if it is getting so hard to safely get to it. There are other fields for engineers, other than oil.

      May 19, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. Cobalt Dude

    So, the oil isbn't from that well? Then where the he!! is it from? Just a reminder that offshore oil drilling is fraught with problems. The marine environment is one of the harshest on earth. Is it any wonder that these problems keep occuring? We obtain a godly portion of our food supply from the Ocean (in the US, particularly the Gulf); we depend upon the beaches and costal areas for recreation and they are tourist meccas. How many dollars will be lost in the recreation and tourist industries because of these oil spills? (That's a rethorical question) The oil companies are only maximizing their profits at the expense of others and they don't give a rat's a$$. Their risk, in their minds, is worth their "reward." Start making it a criminal offense for oil spills, and make the oil companies CEOs liable for those offenses and see how soon things may change.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Have Passport will show

      And who is going to pay for the naturally occurring leaks. You do realize oil does come out of the ground all by itself; you do not have to drill baby drill to get oil to come out of the ground or bubble up from the ocean.
      You funny dude

      May 19, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Knightsix

      So, it's all about a dollar bill with you and nothing else? Well, from where I sit, why aren't you out there with your sleeves rolled up and helping clean up "nature's" mess instead of sitting in front of a computer carping about it? And do a little homework before you bother others with such bovine spatter. Oil does IN FACT leak naturally from the ocean floor, or are you still convinced it's all coming from warships sunk during WWII, dark forces in league with rogue elements to deface the fair beaches of Florida, or (gasp), testosterone fueled but frustrated hunters with an insidious plan to tar ball your manatee population so they'll cook more easily? Just a thought. Knightsix

      May 19, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Knightsix

      Oh, and one more thought concerning your comment, "Start making it a criminal offense for oil spills, and make the oil companies CEOs liable for those offenses and see how soon things may change." How do you intend to charge GOD and make him pay? Now, THAT would be interesting. Just another thought. Knightsix

      May 19, 2010 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Curt

      It's amazing to see how ignorant you really are? N A T U R AL O C C U R I N G O I L L E A K S into the ocean every day.... Do you NOT understand that? I agree with that other comment – WHY aren't you down there HELPING out on the beaches RIGHT NOW? You're not? I guess you really DON'T CARE that much, do you?

      May 19, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. richard hampton

    i live in louisville il. i have a fix for oil leak, why cant thay insert a balloon of some type in to the pipe and inflate it to stop try oil leak your truly rich

    May 19, 2010 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jim Shorts

    i need to clean my balls, they are starting to look like tar.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Tar Baby Tar

      You might want to get those checked out by a doctor. My brother had a case of the same thing once and it led to some unavoidable spills and stains.

      May 19, 2010 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Network

      I think the recomended aproach was to use Dawn?

      May 19, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  7. Kelsey Berard

    My aunt has owned a beach house in Bay Saint Louis for the last thirty years and myself I have owned one there for the past 4 years. I remember playing with these little tar balls well over twenty years ago and still today they still wash ashore every now and then. We use to used them when we built sand castles. We molded it into figures just like clay.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      This is true. I remember throwing the tar balls up for seagulls to catch. They would choke on them and nose dive into the sand. The trick was to get them to stick head first like a lawn dart.

      May 19, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  8. brown

    so we've got two oil leaks in the Gulf? Hang the oil execs!

    May 19, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |

    I find it amazing that BP actually waits until a full month has passed to enact a plan. A plan which will take 4 weeks or more to complete, and involves throwing sea mud, pressure cement and some junk to dam it up. The rig exploding is a disaaster but the response and behavior after is a perfect example of how responsible most corporations are.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Wyatt

      Wait a full month? Are you truly oblivious or just selectively ignorant? They did try several plans in the past few weeks. They've got one that's kind of working now (drawing 2,000 barrels of oil from the leak, an improvement over the initial 1,000.), and more one the way. Unfortunately, these things take time. Materials and equipment have to get shipped out to the site, then lowered into place.

      Are you really a doctor? If so, I have lost all faith in our education system.

      May 19, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      They could have stopped the leak on day one. The delay is because BP wanted to devise a "cap" that would enable them to keep using the well. This crisis was all about money.
      Wyatt since you seem to work for BP, maybe you can validate my explanation to the good doctor.

      May 19, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Norm really doesn't know what he's talking about. If they could have stopped it, they would have. The well is dead, the relief wells become the new wells, even though BP has already said they will never produce from this well. Its not worth siphoning $150K of oil a day in exchange for paying $5+ Billion to clean it up. They are going to try to top kill the well anyways within the week. They just had to test the heck out of the well head and BOP to make sure they don't make it worse and release the full capacity of the well.

      May 19, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Network

      Norm, where do you come from? Harry Potter magical fantasy land? No, they couldn't stop the leak in one day ROFLMAO!!

      May 19, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Jimmy

      I guess the reason we all think this is being bungled is because the way it looks to us, as reported by the news, it that BP comes up with plan A then impliments does not work. BP comes up with plan B then impliments does not work. BP comes up with plan C....etc. Maybe if they came up with multiple "plans" and started work/implimentation at the same time, then they wouldnt have to wait the weeks and weeks they have been just to need another plan.

      May 19, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  10. Lofty

    Well since they happen naturally I guess we should just forget about the Deep Water Horizon and just let it spill. No wonder reefs around the world are dying.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  11. BTO

    Jimmy Buffet needs to write a song about it, tarballs in paradise

    May 19, 2010 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  12. Eduardo

    They have so quickly determined the tar ball is not from them that I am sure it is.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Robin

      I agree with this

      May 19, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Steve

    I am amazed the US goversment has been so slow to respond to this.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin in DBQ, IA

      I agree, they should be there in cases of dire emergency!!
      But... I also think the border situation is more of an emergency!! GET OUR TROOPS TO THE SOUTHERN BORDER NOW!!!!!!

      May 19, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  14. phatbacon

    Put them thar tar-balls in the gas tank! Free gas! Why iz everyone complainin'??!?

    May 19, 2010 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. Chad

    Tar on Florida beaches is very common. It comes from variou sources, including the thousands of shipwrecks that litter the ocean floors.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Have Passport will show

      Very true, Chad but you forgot to mention that there are also canisters of nerve gas down there; munitions of assorted kinds not to mention all the things that were thrown in the ocean so that they would not pollute the land.

      May 19, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • RickinNY

      He likely didn't mention it because it isn't relevant to this story.

      May 19, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
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