Tests show toxic crude at Fort McRee, Pensacola News Journal, November 11, 2010:
Lab results from a marine biologist working for Gulf Breeze reveals the oil is as toxic as the fresh oil that washed up on Pensacola Beach in June...
"It was off the chart," [Heather Reed, marine biologist and oil spill environmental consultant for Gulf Breeze] said. "It had to be diluted 20 times to get a reading. The crude has very high danger levels of petroleum organics and is not safe for the public to be exposed to. I would be concerned for boaters, swimmers and fishermen who come in contact with it."
Florida Department of Environmental Protection officials react:
DEP officials dispute the claim that the oil is toxic. ...
"The sampling results indicated that the oil had been weathered and contained no volatile organic compounds," [Amy Graham, Florida DEP interim press secretary] stated. ...
But Graham went on to say that swimmers who come into contact with the oil mats "should immediately wash off the oil and avoid recreating in the area where they came into contact with the oil."
Local official on State's reaction:
Reed said she is not surprised that DEP's findings differed from hers.
"I suspected this would happen... The Fort McRee oil found was collected according to the same protocol, split and sent to different labs and agencies... I believe, there is no standardization in testing methods and ranges..."