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. lochlan

    Great the government says these tar balls are not from the Deep horizon. Is this the same government that goes by BP's estimates on how much oil is leaking into the sea, while not even mentioning the 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick oil plume found beneath the surface. I believe it was the EPA and Hilary Clinton who said the air on 9/11 was safe to breathe. Let's ask what all the firefighters and police have to say about the air on that day. Our government just doesn't stop lieing to us and I'm really getting tired of it. You all can keeep your head up your ss, but I can see this is going to cost us big, and all so that some D.C. guys could pad their pockets with a measly few thousand dollars.

    BTW this oil slick is the size of Maryland, but no big deal America. Media is reminding you to keep your head up your as.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Wyatt

      Didn't BP take the government's estimate of the oil flowing out of the well?

      May 19, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • lochlan

      No it's all "according to BP estimates".

      May 19, 2010 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Its not Really BP's estimates. BP is just using the Coast Guard, EPA, and NOAA estimates. The media has made it a point to call it BP's estimates because it makes them sound "evil" or that they are hiding something and forget to mention that its actually other agencies coming up with the estimates.

      May 19, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mike Hawk


    May 19, 2010 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. Tar Baby Tar

    Tar Balls: The Rocky Mountain Oysters of Big Business.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. Norm

    Are you sure these aren't from the gulf spill? I don't see any headline news about it today so it seems like it has lost it's balls.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  5. JimK

    I don't buy it. Tar is washing up on the beach in Key West and we're supposed to believe that even though nobody has any idea WHERE it came from, they can conclusively say that it's NOT from the mega-million barrel mess that's now being entrained into the Gulf's Loop Current.
    These yahoos have no idea how much oil is traveling in the Gulf, they really don't know how to fix it, they're clueless as to how they can actually clean it up, and yet they can say FOR SURE that the Keys contamination isn't sourced at their spill. Exactly how stupid do they think the American public is?

    May 19, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • lochlan

      Makes you wonder how BP can get main stream media and the government to toe the line for these corporations. What kind of country are we living in? With liberty and Justice for all. I'm getting tired of them telling me to believe the lies.

      May 19, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • xxception

      Ummm, are you aware there are more than one type of oil? If the tar balls are made of a different type of oil than is at the Deepwater Horizon, it can quite easily be discounted as the source.

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

      Could you tell me the independent organization that also did an investigation on the oil?

      May 19, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • justme

      well apparently they aren't talking to you...just keep on with your parnoid, uninformed self. Yes they can determine what type of oil caused the tar balls, it's called science dude. You know, the class you skipped in jr. high.

      May 19, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Reality Sucks

      It is very simple technically to determine the oil contents, similiar to fingerprinting, DNA, etc... as for "Exactly how stupid do they think the American public is?" you are displaying that quite eloquently.

      May 19, 2010 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  6. Letfreedomring

    This is another reason why we should focus on alternitive energy. While this would not remove our need for oil it would greatly reduce it, thus less oil wells to worry about.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. lochlan

    All the tar balls that came up on this beach and all future tar balls not yet discovered have bee determined to be from somewhere else other than this gigantic plume of oil the size of Maryland dumping 1million gallons a day into the ocean sitting in the middle of the Gulf and now caught in the gulf stream.

    So government and main stream media continue to protect corporate America from justice for the American people

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

      grow up. do some reseach and maybe next time you spout off, you might just have a valid point that does not make you look like a complete moron

      May 19, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dan Allen

    Great! Tar Balls in the keys that are not from the BP spill. Think maybe another Oil rig spilled its milk and did not tell anyone? Lets see.... The oil company's are making HUGE profits, gas prices are still high, off shore drilling is maybe not so safe as promised, the fishing industry in Louisiana and probably others will collapse due to the damage done from the BP spill, and still no luck in stopping the flow of the oil. As a former Republican I think it's sad that the party would rather fight common since environmental laws to spite the Democrats and kiss the asses of big business for election dollars. Kill baby Kill, I mean Spill baby Spill, I mean Drill baby Drill.

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

      Looks like another former republican has awoken from the slumber. Get your shades on, your about to be blinded by the amount of lies and deceit coming from our government, especially the Republican party and lobbyists. (Sidenote: Dems are not all that much better, but they are better). The unafilliated no names give out most of the information

      May 19, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. Stale

    The Key West tar balls looked like balls of opium that fell out of a hippie's pocket.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. Trey Anastasio

    You all realize that 99% of the oil contamination in our oceans are from Cars? Cars leak oil all the time, and where do you think that oil ends up? THE OCEAN. These tar balls could be from anywhere.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • shadysider

      So when my car leaks oil in the middle of Pennsylvania it is ending up in the ocean? Suuuuuuuuuuuure.

      May 19, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Wrong. 99% of the oil in the oceans is due to natural seepage of oil from the Earth's crust over the last hundreds of millions of years. More oil is pumped into the ocean every year from natural cracks in the crust than all the spills combined.

      May 19, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • lochlan

      Matt, that is hillarious that pile of crp you just spewed. Could you show me the oil slick the size of Maryland from one of these "seepages"?

      May 19, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • DIg It

      When I jumped off, I had a bucket full of tar...
      When I jumped off, I held that bucket in my hand
      Oil that would leak out all around the world
      I'd sit and watch the spill behind a mountain curl
      It took me a long time to get back on the train

      May 19, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Simply google petroleum seep. California has some of the biggest, right off Santa Barbara.

      May 19, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Curt

      You are a complete LOON? What?.... did you attend AL GORE'S SCHOOL for the BRAIN DEAD? One of the funniest comments I have EVER READ IN MY LIFE!!! You must be a comedian!!! THIS is what scares me to death about the STUPID information that ends of in brains of mush and then passed on as fact..... Aghhhh..... when will it end?

      May 19, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Really

      Shadysider -technically yes, if your car leaks oil somewhere in PA it could very well end up in the ocean. Especially if you happen to be leaking that oil inside the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Ground water leads to rivers and streams which lead to the bay. While it is on its travels if it passes through natural areas i.e. no concrete, etc. then the earth can actually help to clean the ground water. Nature has a tremendous filtering system if allowed to work. However, depending on the pathway it may not get cleaned up before it reaches the bay. Lots of stuff we do every day can end up in the ocean from weed killer and pesticides to fertilizer not to mention pollutants caused by big business farms. And yes, those oil balls do occur in nature. Just because the answer is coming from a source that we think might be suspect it doesn't mean the answer is the wrong one. We can blog away on our conspiracy theories, evil government and evil big industry but it won't help to make a change. If you want to see things done differently – get involved, work on solutions. Find people who are willing to run for office and not be consumed by the political machine. Really think about what you do in your life everyday and how that leads to the end result. Every day our actions drive the corporations and the political machine whether we want to admit it or not. BP isn't drilling for oil because no one wants it – they are drilling because we demand it. Are we all shouting out about this because big oil has something we want and we want it cheap and we want it now and they somehow shouldn't be making money off of the product they are supplying because we are a nation that is dependent on that product. I am not saying the system is perfect or that corruption doesn't exist, but we need oil and they bring us oil and they make money doing it. Too much money at our expense??? Then what are the alternatives? The purpose of business is to make money. We are in control because if we aren't buying what they are selling they will change. That oil spilling into the ocean is a horrific, even catastrophic event. It was most probably preventable and BP should be held accountable. They have a responsibility. There were alot of hands stirring that pot and they should all be held accountable. People died on that oil rig. Someone's father, brother, husband. Corners were cut and protocols and procedures were not adhered to. Someone needs to take responsiblity for THAT. We need to demand that safety is priority always, everyday in every job. If everyone had done their jobs properly that oil wouldn't be leaking into the ocean and those 11 people would not have died. If someone says those tar balls aren't from the rig they probably aren't. Conspiracy theories and complaining aren't going to bring those lives back or put that oil back under the ocean's floor. Don't just talk folks, step up to the plate, do something, help to make a difference because a difference can be made. Bring on the solutions. Every single day people make a difference in this country – ordinary people. Have you made a difference today?

      May 19, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. chefdugan

    much ado about nothing

    May 19, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Mister

      ...until they washup on your beach...

      May 19, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Tar Baby Tar

      @ Mister:
      Not my beach. i wash it everyday with Liquid Detergent Dawn. Its green!

      May 19, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • lochlan

      Another asss who quite apparently gives not the lightest about the country or the environment. Can't we find a landfill for these people to live in?

      May 19, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. shadysider

    I find this hard to believe. Why don't we see tar balls when there isn't an oil spill? Kind of sounds preposterous.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • xxception

      You would if you looked. However, it's not exactly news to report that naturally occurring tar balls have naturally washed up on a beach, now is it?

      May 19, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  13. gaetano marano

    STOP the oil spill NOW! >>>

    May 19, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • 2trueforU

      I am sure they want to stop got any suggestions?

      May 19, 2010 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mister

    Soooooo... is there another leak that we don't know about?

    May 19, 2010 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  15. solution

    simple: plug leaks with oil execs. Problem solved !!!

    May 19, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • lochlan

      Now that's genius. Put this guy on the board for FEMA.

      May 19, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
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