Alabama Mayor Can't Decide If His Beaches Are Clean

June 07, 2010 12:48 pm ET — Alan Pyke

Local government officials along the Gulf coast are in a tough spot as beach weather rolls around. More than a month after BP's Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, the well is still spewing tens of millions of gallons of oil. Dead fish and turtles are washing ashore. And BP's efforts to contain the gusher have mostly failed. Coastal communities are afraid the spill will kill their crucial tourist season as well.

This morning, Fox News talked with an Alabama mayor about the situation in Orange Beach, AL. On the one hand, Mayor Tony Kennon says his "beaches are as clean and pretty as they've ever been."

But apparently they're not that clean, because a minute later he lamented that OSHA won't let workers clean up his beaches for more than 15 minutes at a time due to the (potentially deadly) effects of crude oil exposure on the blood, lungs and nervous system.


MAYOR KENNON: Our beaches are as clean and pretty as they've ever been. Now that may change next week, and I understand that, and we don't want anyone to come down and have a bad experience. But right now there's just no better deal than Orange Beach, AL for a vacation...

Uh, it-- it's not rocket science. Uh, y'know, we had tarballs Saturday, we called in Saturday morning at 6:40, and the tarballs weren't picked up until Sunday uh, midday. There's just no excuse, uh, we've got OSHA, uh, instructing the workers they can only work 15 minutes and 15 minutes off, and, and I'm wondering, are we on a beach in France somewhere? Uh, y'know, this is absurd, and we're-- again, we're trying to run a business, we're trying to make the most out of our tourist season that is being hit hard from cancellations from folks thinking we have a ver-- an oily mess down here.