(June 4, 2010) — USAToday.com online now has a story on the actions of BP and its federal bureaucratic partners spurning volunteered animal fur and human hair that could soak up oil from the BP-drilled, federally-authorized deep water well in the Gulf coast.

The USAToday.com story, titled “Vet’s view: Pet hair has a place in oil cleanup, but BP rejects it,” can be viewed by clicking here.

It follows LBReport.com coverage starting late last month — click here and here— that spotlighted the efforts of a LB-area businessman who operates a pet grooming/pet supply outlets on this very issue.

Eric Hatch, who operates LaunderPet (three pet grooming and supplies stores, two in Long Beach, one in Seal Beach) — is continuing to volunteer pet fur from his grooming shops for use in oil clean-up efforts. He’s one of of a number of volunteers across the country supporting the efforts of www.matteroftrust.organd www.excessaccess.com who have created oil-soaking booms (by stuffing the hair/fur into nylon stockings that are doubled up and tied together.

Photo source: www.matteroftrust.org
Members of MatterofTrust.org recently uploaded a YouTube video offering a grassroots side-by-side comparison of a hair/fur boom vs. a commercial boom. To view the group’s video, click here.

As LBReport.com reported on May 21, a BP spokesman told us that while BP is very grateful for the offers, they have plenty of absorbent available which is effective and there are no plans at present to use the human hair/animal fur. And the oil spill’s “Unified Command” (includes BP and multiple government agencies) issued the following statement, basically turning aside the volunteer efforts:

The Unified Area Command for the Deepwater Horizon/BP Response announces it will not use hair boom in its response efforts.While this suggestion was submitted to BP as an alternative method for containing and recovering the oil spill, it was not deemed feasible after a technical evaluation.

In a February 2010 side-by-side field test conducted during an oil spill in Texas, commercial sorbent boom absorbed more oil and much less water than hair boom, making it the better operational choice.

“Our priority when cleaning up an oil spill is to find the most efficient and expedient way to remove the oil from the affected area while causing no additional damage. One problem with the hair boom is that it became water-logged and sank within a short period of time,” said Charlie Henry, NOAA’s Scientific Support Coordinator in Robert, La.

Commercial sorbent boom is readily available and scientifically designed and tested for oil containment and absorption on the water. Additionally, response teams are familiar with and properly trained to safely deploy, maintain, recover, and dispose commercial sorbent boom.

Individuals and organizations are asked to discontinue the collection of hair for the hair boom.

We appreciate the overwhelming response from the American and Canadian people who want to help in the response to this spill. Please continue to send suggestions for alternate cleanup solutions. All proposals are reviewed by technical experts for their feasibility and proof of application. Among those recommendations submitted was the successful subsea dispersion process that is now helping break up oil before it reaches the surface…

LaunderPet owner Hatch responds:

“Clearly, the right thing to do is to divert pet fur from landfills and use it in the massive gulf oil spill cleanup effort. We are hopeful and confident that the volunteers at Excess Access and Matter of Trust will soon convince BP and the federal government that the donated hair and fur booms can be used successfully to soak up oil in the gulf. Our three LaunderPet stores are happy to participate in this grassroots effort to assist in the cleanup.”

To view recent raw video of what’s happened to wildlife in the areas affected, click video below:

To access live video [caveat: video via BP, sometimes disappears for no apparent reason] from site where oil has been gushing since April — click here.

Outside LB, other local news outlets have covered similar local aspects to this developing story.

Inside LB, other news outlets have devoted space to puffy pieces including BP’s corporate sponsorship of an exhibit at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific.

See the article here.