Oil Spill Eater II one step closer to being used in cleanup

By Steve Caparotta - bio | email

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The process to get BP to use your idea in the oil cleanup effort is frustrating a lot of people. But one product WAFB reported on nearly two weeks ago may be closer to being used.

Oil Spill Eater II, or OSE II, was first seen on WAFB in action in Venice when Kevin Barbier of Denham Springs applied the product to an oil sheen and it seemingly disappeared in a matter of seconds. Since then, it has been a frustrating couple of weeks of road blocks and red tape, but OSE II creator Steven Pedigo says he thinks the state is on his side.

"While the state of Louisiana seems to be doing everything it can, it just bogs down," Pedigo said. "And it just seems like it's out of their hands."

The waiting game continues despite what appears to be a well-established resume for OSE II. The company says it has been used for years by the military, even providing an invoice showing it was delivered to Belle Chasse Naval Air Station as far back as 1995. It has been on the EPA NCP list since 1996, essentially meaning it is preapproved for oil spill treatment by the government.

Perhaps most surprising is that OSE II has been used by BP before in the early 2000's to clean up a spill in Trinidad and Tobago and again for a spill in Greece.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection also told 9News it has been on their list of approved groundwater cleanup products since 2004.

Thursday finally did bring a bit of good news to Pedigo and his company.

"We did hear yesterday, through an email, that OSE II had been cleared by the RRT -- and that would be Regional Response Team 6 -- and sent up to the National Response Team."

Those response teams Pedigo mentioned are headed by the EPA and Coast Guard and have the ultimate say on what can be used on the spill.

One question some have raised is whether OSE II can be used over open waters, rather than just right along the coast. Pedigo says they just need the opportunity to show it can work.

Pedigo added, "We've cleaned up numerous oil spills and fuel spills in the ocean but none this big cause no one's ever given us the chance."

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