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BP agrees to fund sand barrier construction

Oil giant BP has agreed to pay $360M ( £579.2M) to fund the construction of six sections of the Louisiana barrier islands proposal to stem the damage from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The pledge comes after Louisiana state governor Bobby Jindall yesterday called for urgent action to create a protective sand barrier to defend its coastline from the spill.

Work looks set to start on a 3.2km long segment at Pelican Island and then another 64.4km stretch of five other approved areas – although BP confirmed it would not manage construction. The US Army Corps of Engineers estimates the cost of the first segment to come in somewhere between £37.44M and £105.51M.

“We are also continuing to ask the Coast Guard to approve our entire 24-segment sand boom plan,” said Jindall. “Our entire coast is important. Estimates show that about 161km of barrier islands will help protect about 6,436km of our shoreline. 

“ We could have already constructed around 16km of this sand boom if our plan had been approved 22 days ago when we first submitted it on 11 May. “

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