May 28, 2010
CNN’s TJ HOLMES talked with DONALD NALTY (Environmental Health and Safety Group) the independent contractor hired by BP to handle some of the cleanup, including Grande Isle where POTUS was. Nalty said the workers were scheduled – not props – as wondered about by Jefferson Parish councilman Chris Roberts.
How many workers before the President’s trip on Friday had you had working in this area on a day-to-day basis?
DONALD NALTY (via telephone):
We had 200 — approximately about 250 workers working there prior to — for the past two and a half to three weeks.
And you’re saying that what’s been happening for the past Friday is no different than what’s been happening for the past couple of few weeks there.
We — we’ve had a plan, we’ve put together a plan on the 23rd to increase the number of personnel that’s going to be in the Grand Isle, Fourchon and (INAUDIBLE) area. Actually yesterday, we brought in another 400 to Grand Isle, another 100 to Fourchon and 90 to (INAUDIBLE), Louisiana to go into the Terrebonne Bay area.
HOLMES: Now where did you all — did BP direct you to beef up?
Well, this — it all goes into the operational planning and the meetings and based on the projects — of the projectory of the oil that we’re properly staffed to handle any impact that comes on. We made the decision on the 23rd that we need to add additional people. We are making as much of an attempt to hire as many local people as we can which means that we have to train them so we — it takes us a few days to number one, process the people and train them.
No one at any point, nor did you make a decision because of the President’s trip?
Absolutely without a doubt, no. I had no idea about the President. Whether it’s the President or whatever dignitary that’s coming into the area, it makes no difference to us. We’re there to clean up Grand Isle, clean up Louisiana, and that’s what we need to do. We have to get the proper personnel and equipment out there to do it. That’s BP’s commitment and that’s what we are doing.
BP is callintg the shots.
It is — it is BP is putting together the overall operation scope. We do have input that we in talking back and forth with the incident command on what our needs are. They can’t, you know, they don’t just dictate what tools we have and how to use them. We work with them and let them know what our needs are and they help us make that happen.
Nowhere near the amount of workers showed up the day after POTUS’ visit. Didn’t even try to make it look good.