Pushback For The Unused Maine Boom

There is an update to the story about the miles of boom that the feds failed to use to protect our coast after the oil spill.

Jake Tapper of ABC news (one of the few journalists out there with true journalistic integrity), followed up on the story. First he actually asked Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen about it. Allen didn’t even know what Tapper was talking about, so Tapper gave him the information.

Then came the biggest CYA excuse you ever heard.

Capt. Ron LaBrec from Coast Guard Public Affairs told Tapper that according to a BP quality control inspector the PackGen boom did not pass an initial quality control test.

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According to the Lapoint (the owner of the boom) and specific standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (an international standards organization, that test methods that determine strength and buoyancy of boom and end connectors), that isn’t true. Lapoint says his boom passed ASTM standards by a “factor of two.”

Lapoint did say that he was told that the connectors needed to be universal connectors, so he changed it. But he said that the booms coming from overseas don’t have the universal connectors. Be that as it may, that wasn’t the excuse the feds are using anyway. They are saying the boom didn’t pass the quality control test.

I’d sure like to see that test. Maybe Tapper will ask for it.

On Friday another BP inspector came by. Lapoint said he seemed more “receptive” to the boom.

I bet.

Here we had the boom from almost the beginning of the spill that would have helped protect our coast and some slip up, ignorance, or red tape, or (most probably) pure incompetence, kept it from being used. Now they are scrambling to make excuses.


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