The oil spill: The latest developments

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

-- The outer edges of Tropical Storm Alex are causing problems for cleanup efforts. Waves were as high as 12 feet in parts of the gulf, according to the National Weather Service. In at least one area of coastal Louisiana, the waves were tossing oil-soaking boom around and forcing crews to take precious time putting it back in place. However, oily water was not yet crashing over it.

-- All near-shore skimmers were idled off the coasts of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, according to Wayne Hebert, who helps manage skimming operations for BP. "Everyone is in because of weather, whether it's thunderstorms or [high] seas," Hebert said.

-- The United States will accept help from 12 countries and international groups to deal with the spill, the State Department said. The identities of all 12 countries and international organizations were not immediately announced. One country cited was Japan, which is providing two high-speed skimmers and fire containment boom.

-- BP says it will give cash and other help to the owners, operators and suppliers of gas stations in the United States that bear its name. The stations have struggled because of boycotts prompted by the oil spill. John Kleine of the BP Amoco Marketers Association says outlets will get cash based on volume, with the rates being higher for outlets in the gulf than for those elsewhere in the country. They also will see reductions in credit-card fees and receive help with national advertising.

-- Associated Press

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