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BP removes tar balls in Alabama

Associated Press / September 8, 2011

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GULF SHORES, Ala. - BP workers used fishing nets to scoop tar balls off Alabama’s Gulf Coast beaches yesterday after the sands were fouled by gooey, dark gobs churned up by heavy surf from tropical system Lee.

Both the company and area officials said it would be days before tests confirmed whether the tar balls were from last year’s massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but BP contractors were removing the pollution anyway.

Grant Brown, a spokesman for the City of Gulf Shores, said residents have feared more oil remains on the gulf’s sandy floor despite months of cleaning.

“It’s more proof that there still are offshore tar mats and it’s washing ashore . . . and it’s going to continue, it looks like, coming to shore,’’ said Brown.

Relatively few tourists were on the beaches as the cleanup began. Crews picked up hundreds of tar balls, which were dumped into large plastic bags and hauled off the beach for disposal.