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. d.l. marshall

    The tar balls could have come from ships in the sea. They have had ships with oil all over that area for the last 100 years. Note some of these ships dump the oil at sea too. Also it could have come from an average citizen changing their oil in their auto for the last 80 years. Remeber in the old days people just washed it down the drain to the sea.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Reality Sucks

      It's been only recently that the cruise ship industry has stopped dumping their bilges at sea... and most cruise ships still burn bunker oil and it DOES get in the bilges.

      May 19, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  2. Chippy in Toronto

    I was down in Florida last month and lost a couple of tar balls. Anyone seen them?

    May 19, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Tar Baby Tar

      Did you check Key West's Lost and Found?

      May 19, 2010 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  3. Phil J

    It's actually something that happens all the time. The castrating of oil wells, I mean.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  4. PNW

    BTO:Two t's at the end, not one.

    Andy and hhm: This is a CNN blog, not twitter. You don't have to put an @ sign in front of the usernames. Now get back to class.

    Jim Shorts: Wow, mommy let you play on the computer this morning, eh? Back to the play pen with you!

    And Manatee: Thank you for being a nice breath of fresh air among the polluted and immature minds these boards seem to be attracting. I hope you folks down there don't get slammed by the spill.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. 4CleanEnergy

    Great! What a relief!! So there are other leaks that we're unaware of?? I feel so much better now.

    This is unbelievable but inevitable as long as we allow ourselves to be force fed petroleum by billionaire bullies. We (the people) must begin to demand the clean alternatives that already exist (one example - the MDI air car).

    May 19, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Kimberly

      You aren't "force fed" petroleum, or any petroleum products. Feel free to stop at any time. First, you'll need to get off of your computer, because it contains plastics (which are made with petrochemicals). Then, you'll need to shut off your electricity and stop driving your car. Oh, you'll probably need to strip down naked too...

      May 19, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Curt

      FORCE FED? I hope you live in a hut on the beach with no electricity, clothes, food, etc..... and are off the grid! If not, you are a total hypocrite because just about everything you use in today's society has something to do with Petroleum products. You are totally free to CHOOSE not to use anything related to petroleum but don't tell the rest of us how to live our lives........

      May 19, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • lochlan

      You fools don't know what he's saying. Take a look at how our country is set up. Try living and working in this country without a car. Now go to any country in Western Europe and try the same thing. You people are severly slow in the thinking part of the brain. I think the saying is can't see the forest through the trees.

      May 19, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. Terrible

    Probably from one of the many large oil spills that occurred during hurricane Katrina that the media didn't feel the need to report on.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave in FL

      Yep. Or how about the massive spill in Texas in January. Didn't hear much about that either.

      May 19, 2010 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. LouisianaMom

    It makes me sad to see so many people think this is a laughing matter. While the wetlands along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico are endanger of the oil that is spilling into our water has become a joke to so many, the people along the Gulf Coast are doing everything they can to prevent further damage. My question to the rest of you is what are trying to do help, wait what do you care you don't live here. Your lively hood is not at stake, your businesses are not closing, your life is not interupted by this, and you go on with your everyday life while we fight to save what matters to our way of life.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • lochlan

      This country is crawling with ignorant, self absorbed, bafoons. If only we could figure a way to get them all together in their own country, away from the rest of us.

      May 19, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • DIg It

      LousianaMom we're not laughing at your problem which is catastrophic beyond belief. We are just having fun with 'tar balls' and the government claiming there's no connection.

      May 19, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Reality Sucks

      I don't see any signs of a NIMBY issue here... Everyone is concerned, but espouses different solutions/preventative measures.

      May 19, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. phatbacon

    This is obviously the work of Goldman Sachs..

    May 19, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Tar Baby Tar

      hehe...yiu said "sacks."

      May 19, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • DIg It

      Gold man-sacks.

      May 19, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  9. Dave in FL

    It's not like 1 of the 500 other rigs out in the gulf have absolutely no problems or anything. How about the old ones that have been abandoned to rot out in the Gulf? Why aren't we making them clean up their mess before we give them NEW leases???

    May 19, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • davec.0121

      Actually, operators are required by law to remove platforms that are no longer in use and permanently seal the wells. Decommisioning and removing platforms is a big business.

      May 19, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  10. Steve G

    Tar balls do not wash up, they bubble up through the sand. It is a natural thing, not associated with offshore drilling. I was stepping in tar balls before there was offshore drilling.

    May 19, 2010 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry J

      I take it, you're not addressing this to the people of Louisiania. Their tar balls are NOT "seeping up from the sand".

      May 19, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jeff S

    I'm not buying it. I think they are definitley from the Deep Horizon and I'd like to know when the last time a tar ball was found on the shores of the Keys. Seems too coincidental to me I think...

    May 19, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  12. matt

    Come to santa barbara california and walk the beaches there are tar balls all over the place and they have been here forever.....maybe the oil from the rigs in the gulf came around south america and ended up on the coast of califonia OR just maybe they are from naturally accuring vents in the ocean. Why drill and suck it out for something useful when it can come up naturally and wash ashore its so beautiful. lol

    May 19, 2010 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  13. Thoth2012

    I guess if the tar balls are not from the BP spill, they are from another spill that someone is trying to keep hush-hush so-as not to go through what BP is going through.... I'm sure there are other companies with spills right now, foriegn or domestiic, saying "what the public does know wont hurt us."... would someone with real-time satalitte access please scan the gulf? thank you.

    May 19, 2010 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Reality Sucks

      other spills from places like Bay of Campeche Mexico... or MOST LIKELY, natural seeps or ships dumping bilges!

      May 19, 2010 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  14. Larry J

    "Naturally occurring oil seeps are common, even under water"? Not at 200,000 gallons a day!!! They better keep their test equipment stockpiled, cause lots more oil is coming their way. BTW, soon it will be a lot more than tar balls floating to shore. Get ready for all the dead sea life to arrive.

    May 19, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  15. beerndrums

    You expect me to believe that non-sense?

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