BP wants to lease property at the Port Bienville Industrial Park for a staging area for hazardous waste, Hancock County Development Commission Director Jack Zink said Tuesday.
Zink appeared before the Hancock County Board of Supervisors to ask for a letter supporting BP locating the cleanup site at the port.
Supers did not give a letter of recommendation, but they asked Zink to bring back a lease agreement for further review.
After the request, the board entered into an hour-long executive session.
Zink said BP wants to put a staging area on 10 acres of land in Port Bienville.
“It is not a dump site,” Zink said. “They (BP) want it to be a staging area, like they have in other counties and cities on the coast.”
Board President Rocky Pullman said the staging area would actually be a site where boats and equipment can be decontaminated.
He said board members fear that by bringing vessels and materials onshore, further contamination could occur.
“We just want to make sure that none of the pollutants are carried up the Pearl River and other places where they may eventually take this stuff,” Pullman said.
Zink said the potential lease and jobs created by the staging area could be a benefit to the county.
In addition, Zink asked the board’s blessing for the development commission to seek a $5.8 million grant application from BP.
That money would be in addition to the $6 million which the county has already applied.
Pullman asked Zink why the development commission felt it needed the grant funds.
“Y’all don’t have any oil at the port do you?” Pullman asked.
Zink said the port is currently assisting BP by letting it use the airport for the dispersant missions.
“A lot of our tenants are worried,” Zink said.
BY: Dwayne Bremer
The Sea Coast Echo