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Okaloosa County isn’t taking oil spill orders any more.
County commissioners voted unanimously to give their emergency management team the power to take whatever action it deems necessary to prevent oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill from entering Choctawhatchee Bay through the East Pass.
That means the team, led by Public Safety Director Dino Villani, can take whatever action it sees fit to protect the pass without having its plans approved by state or federal authorities.
Commission chairman Wayne Harris said he and his fellow commissioners made their unanimous decision knowing full well they could be prosecuted for it. “We made the decision legislatively to break the laws if necessary. We will do whatever it takes to protect our county’s waterways and we’re prepared to go to jail to do it,” he said.
Commissioners gave him the go-ahead to spend $200,000 to pay for an underwater “air curtain” designed to push oil up where it can be collected and $16,500 a day to operate and maintain it.
He has authority to, without a nod from the U.S. Coast Guard, deploy barges, weighted so that they’ll sit low in the water across the entrance to the pass.
He is also authorized to look into a slip curtain, another underwater oil-catching device.
Originally posted by getreadyalready
I guarantee that the Coast Guard and Military personnel back their local lawmakers, and that the "authority" of this decision will not be challenged. The Federal Government and Bureaucrats will not dare test the loyalty of the locals in that area. Destin Harbor, East Pass, Okaloosa Island, Destin Beach, Sandestin, and the entire area is the prettiest beach in the world!
Louisiana - Gov. Bobby Jindal said federal officials have approved plans to build five sand berms to protect Louisiana barrier islands from oil encroaching from the Gulf oil spill.
Originally posted by SWCCFAN
Thanks for posting that!
That is fricken awesome!
I wish the locals here in MS would do that. But Our Government here is Broke.
While Martha LaGuardia, a commander with the Coast Guard, argued that moving ideas and plans through the chain of command was the proper way to do things, Harris made it known the County Commission was tired of the often tedious and sometimes unproductive bureaucracy.
“We’ve played the game. We’re done playing the game,” he said,
Originally posted by silent thunder
This is great stuff, like others in the thread I applaud the local leadership while the state and federal level sits stupified on its hands.
It is very sad that the higher levels of government cannot respond properly. Although its great to see locals showing initiative, one cannot but speculate on the slippery slope that could lead to Jericho-versus-New-Berg-style disputes (to use a semi-obscure reference some ATSers might get) in the face of a power vaccum at at last the state level.