Oil from BP spill uncovered by Isaac’s waves

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Along the oiled Fourchon beach, officials restricted fishing in waters extending one mile offshore. The state Wildlife and Fisheries Department said there was a large mat of tar on one beach and concentrations of tar balls on nearby shores.

In Alabama, officials said the tar was more of an unsightly nuisance than a health hazard, describing globs as ranging in size from a dime to a half dollar coin.

“There are areas where there are significant deposits,” said Phillip West, coastal resources manager in Orange Beach, Ala.

Samples from both states were being tested to determine whether the tar was from BP’s Macondo well.

The Alabama cities believe the tar hitting their white-sand beaches was breaking off large, submerged mats from the spill.

“I do believe we are going to be dealing with this for years,” said Grant Brown, a spokesman for the city of Gulf Shores, Ala.

The areas where workers found tar after the storm were some of the same places the heaviest oil deposits occurred during the spill.

In Mississippi, officials have so far spotted only about a couple dozen tar balls on beaches. Most have turned out to be reddish-brown bacteria, which commonly washes ashore after storms.

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Reeves reported from Birmingham, Ala.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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