Can Georgia handle Gulf Coast oil spill?

By Lora Chance - email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Is Georgia ready and able to handle the potential consequences of the Gulf Coast oil spill?

"We are well prepared," said Senator Buddy Carter. "Our emergency management system is pretty good."

Carter was recently appointed to the Senate Special Committee on Coastal Preparedness. The committee's first meeting was held Thursday at the State Capitol in Atlanta.

Officials from the Georgia Emergency Management Association, the Georgia Department of Community Health and representatives from the United States Coast Guard briefed lawmakers.

"The concern is possibly the oil slick getting into the loop current and being brought to this area," said Carter. "The chances of that are minimal; about 1-20 percent."

The greater concern is microdroplets of oil getting into the water.

"How do we monitor that? We need to step up the monitoring of the wells we have to make sure our water supply is not impacted by that," explained Carter. "The next step of our process is to make certain we have in place a plan in case we do have the oil slick come on to shore in this area."

Senator Buddy Carter represents Bryan County and portions of Chatham and Liberty counties.

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