There will be a meeting today, May 4, at 4:30 PM (previously scheduled at 2:00), at the Okaloosa County School District Administrative Building 120 Lowery Street S.E. in Fort Walton Beach with representatives from the DEP, BP, the US Coast Guard, Okaloosa County, and other officials. This meeting is being held to answer as many of your questions as possible. Please plan to attend for any information you need concerning the oil spill.
The clean-up operations from any oil that may reach the beaches or inland waterways is being administered by the US Coast Guard. Emergency management personnel from both county and city staffs will be under the guidance of the Coast Guard.
NO ONE is authorized to handle any tar or chemical that washes ashore or that is floating in the water unless properly trained. Only those trained by OSHA and EPA will be allowed to handle this material. If you wish to be trained or wish to volunteer for the clean-up, please call 1-866-448-5816 and be properly trained.
Charter boat captains or other captains who would like to assist with any efforts taking place on the water must call 425-745-8017 to be put on the list and trained.
City officials are taking place in numerous conference calls with those managing the situation. Both the mayor and city manager have had discussions with the governor. He has assured everyone that the state will provide all possible and available resources to combat the spill as it enters Florida’s waters.
Please respect the requests of the US Coast Guard and DEP as they lead this effort. The work being done is under their command. Any interference with their work or procedures could drastically hurt our collective efforts in limiting the damage from the oil spill.