Here's some proof - i messaged the mods with more proof showing my face because I am still working for the same oil spill response company -

Comments: 221 • Responses: 55  • Date: 

PocketTaco96 karma

It's been 3 years?


Peeeeeeeeeej42 karma

yea still cant believe it - alot has changed since then too - got married bought a house and having a baby

Chitown-2327 karma

Not a question, but congratulations on everything.

Peeeeeeeeeej17 karma

thanks :D

roastedbagel47 karma

OP is verified.

Peeeeeeeeeej13 karma

thank you :D

jackmeeker24 karma

what's your favorite kind of muffin?

Peeeeeeeeeej27 karma


jordan2314022 karma

What do you think of the "Kill, Don't Clean, Oiled Birds" approach, with "experts" saying it's more humane to euthanize them rather than spending the time and effort to clean them when most die (According to the experts, I'm note sure of the statistics on it)


Peeeeeeeeeej34 karma

To be honest I was working at the spill not near the affected areas where a lot of wildlife exists. My company has a policy to not interact with wildlife when we are cleaning. My personal opinion is that all efforts to save wildlife is important

joenottoast14 karma

an* (someone had to do it)

Peeeeeeeeeej9 karma

yep realized that as soon as i hit the button

juiceboxmatt11 karma

What was your job during the oil spill?

What was a day to day task?

Peeeeeeeeeej10 karma

Well I was chief mate aboard my vessel - so a lot of my job was navigating the vessel - sometimes i worked cargo by adjusting the piping between our oil tanks

Peeeeeeeeeej10 karma

well guys this has been fun - im going to go to bed, but if you want to keep asking questions Ill promise I will answer them in the morning!

QWERTY3610 karma

Why is everyone so hung over on the BP spill, when other companies have like 2 to 3 spills A YEAR!? It bugs me.

Peeeeeeeeeej20 karma

media man. . .its all always a witchhunt

FUupStraydog9 karma

What was your reaction when you first saw the oil spill?

Peeeeeeeeeej25 karma

Actually when I first saw the spill - i was sort of not impressed. You have to realize that when oil bubbles up in a large body of water, its not all that much. It wasnt until my unit got moved from the MC-252 site to one that was closer to Pensacola FL was I shocked. When oil is weathered it gets really thick like elephant skin - and being 3 miles away from the shore and seeing nothing but giant thick patches of oil was pretty shocking - heres a pic

DipStickington7 karma

Know anything about tar sands? And are they honestly using PAPER TOWELS on this newest spill?! (Saw a lake of oil covered with them in a vid)

Peeeeeeeeeej6 karma

dont know much about tar sands except that its changing the oil transportation business up in Maine right now - for better or for worse. About the paper towels - yea weve been using them for a long time. Its not a paper towel per say - we call em diapers - and they are oil absorbent pads that are made from petroleum products (thus repelling water and attracting oil), they are good for small deck spills and the such but for larger spills they arent all that great.

Peeeeeeeeeej5 karma

thats hilarious you know where its from?

Hyper_Threaded6 karma

So the shrimp and seafood being picked up in the gulf coast. What percentage of it is actually safe to sell/eat? I have heard rumors or stories of shrimp being pulled up without eyes in their eye sockets. I have noticed a significant price drop at my grocery store in the price of US gulf coast shrimp vs those of Mexican or even Alaskan shrimp. I generally see US shrimp for about 9.49/lb and Mexican shrimp (Roughly the same size) for ~14.59. I keep waiting to see the prices bounce back for the Gulf coast but they simply have not been the same since the spill.

Do you know if the fishermen are having to accept lower pay for their shrimp(and other seafood) than before the spill?

Peeeeeeeeeej1 karma

Im not an expert on economics or food safety but i think the shrimp is safe as i stated before the amount of oil spilled in the gulf is such a small amount compared to the size of gulf of mexico. I guess the prices will eventually rebound

a4bh36 karma

In what ways has the Gulf not recovered? How long will it take to recover?

Peeeeeeeeeej4 karma

well in an ecological standpoint - i think the Gulf has recovered very nicely because you have to think of size. Even though they estimate that the amount of oil spilled was in the order of 100,000,000 gallons + - theres more than 1 X 1014 gallons of water. On an economical standpoint - i think everything is almost back to working order, alot of the drilling platforms are back to work and most of the shrimpers are too

VictoryGin19841 karma

1014 / 108 = 106. That's one part per million. I would not say that's an insignificant amount...

Peeeeeeeeeej1 karma

im sorry those numbers arent really that accurate -

AnilineBlue5 karma

Doesn't the oil company make you sign nondisclosure agreements prior to responding to a spill?

Peeeeeeeeeej10 karma

Not exactly, as with any company you are refrained from giving out information to the media if you are not authorized too.

AnilineBlue7 karma

Ahh, ok. I knew a guy that went down there to clean up. He was on bird washing duty before he went on a skimming boat. He says he was directly hired by BP to be on the boat. He said the company man he was assigned to threatened to turn over anyone's name to Legal that was caught photographing or talking to anyone. Not sure if it's 100% true or not... he liked his Wild Turkey.

Peeeeeeeeeej6 karma

I'd believe it - we had to send all our pictures taken during the spill to corporate afterwards - i still kept mine though - and I like my woodford reserve thank you

Ozner123453 karma

How did you get started? What is your normal job?

Peeeeeeeeeej5 karma

I went to SUNY Maritime College for my Third Mate's License. My normal job is an oil spill responder - alot of my job is keeping all the equipment and the vessel in tiptop shape - and lots of training

BLadner3 karma

I coauthored a research article on the psychological effects of this spill on residents of the Gulf Coast which has since been published in a peer-reviewed journal. We found that 92% of people in the "at-risk" group (including fishermen and seafood, restaurant, oil rig, and marine workers) scored highly enough on a short PTSD rating interview that further evaluation was recommended. I personally experienced the social ramifications of this when I attended town hall meetings and heard fishermen speak out publicly to the politicians in attendance. I also know that some of the fisherman took up jobs doing clean-up since they could no longer fish/shrimp. Did you ever work alongside any of these folks? Did they tell any stories worth sharing? Did any of them seem like they could benefit from psychological evaluation?

Peeeeeeeeeej2 karma

Actually this is really interesting - and yes we worked with a lot of shrimpers who came out and valiantly did a hell of a job booming oil. They would boom the oil and then let it go in a certain area making it easier for us to boom it in and then suck it up. They did a hell of a job. I used to be curious why more shrimpers/fishermen werent out working. It was a paycheck and they did a hell of a job.

bananamakani2 karma

What do you do when you're not responding to oil spills?

Peeeeeeeeeej1 karma

Lots of training and maintenance

PipToodlePip2 karma

Read an article today regarding the use of COREXIT, a toxic dispersant, in the cleanup of the spill. What do you know about its use? How do you feel about the way BP handled the cleanup?

I first read about COREXIT, and just how extreme BP's attempts at masking the magnitude of the spill in this article.... To your knowledge, did this journalist portray BP accurately?

Thanks for the AMA!

Peeeeeeeeeej3 karma

Okay the article is so over-the-top in terms of trying to show its bias. COREXIT was used but was always made sure to be away from the vessels working on scene. I dont know much about COREXIT but the EPA did say it was ok, so I dont really know what else to say. I think BP handled the cleanup okay but there was a lot of room for improvement, that because hindsight is 20-20 we can see.

Scheckschy2 karma

Are there different methods for recovering the oil at varying levels (i.e, Surface, Suspended, Bottom)?

Peeeeeeeeeej2 karma

oil is naturally found in the water so - oil that was suspended or in the bottom is naturally depleted by bacteria that eat the oil - as for surface oil what we would do is boom it in and then suck it up with a giant vacuum cleaner (ELI5)

Scheckschy1 karma

So, it seems that only the oils are bad for the environment? Do the residual materials suspended or on the bottom not have negative repercussions, or are they just too expensive to recover?

Peeeeeeeeeej1 karma

they do have negative reprecussions ofcourse, and yes expensive, but its not only that - its just really really really really impossible to recover

GoManVanGogh2 karma

Hey fellow responder here as well. Currently working SRT in Prudhoe Bay.

Peeeeeeeeeej2 karma

cool im mainly out of new york harbor, but i have worked in delaware bay, Chesapeake bay, and miami

GoManVanGogh2 karma

Must be a comletely different game over there. Do you work full time?

Peeeeeeeeeej2 karma

yep - as i said before its a lot of training and maintenance - and when i say a lot of training its A LOT of training

Mateo942 karma

Thank you for your support my best friend worked for an oil response team called miller enviormental/ppp out of NJ. He was thrown off a building in New Orleans on a night off after working a 70 hour or so week. Still miss him to this day R.I.P Chris. Is the clean up still going on?

Peeeeeeeeeej2 karma

Miller Environmental - we call them the pirates - small world - as far as i know the cleanup from the DH spill is completely over

WhyHellYeah2 karma

Why does the US EPA maintain such a high requirement for skimmers when that cannot be achieved?

Also, do you know as many people as I do who received money from the initial fund who weren't affected by the spill?

Peeeeeeeeeej1 karma

Its a whole bunch of different groups putting their hands in the pot. OPA-90 is the main law when it comes to oil skimmers, OSROs, and other oil equipment. THen all the other government organizations get involve and try to enforce their will. I think its actually for the better because Ive seen some really shitty skimmers out there and they cant do a damn thing, so Im glad to be using equipment thats held to the highest standard.

WhyHellYeah1 karma

You seem to miss the main point of the argument. The skimmers that are turned down put water back that is 99.9% pure, whereas the approved ones are required to put back 99.95% pure water. It is literally that close of small percentage and they really don't exist. If they did, we should have them ready for action. We don't.

Holland seems to have done fairly well with them.

Now, I don't know what you think, but it is clear that putting back such a small percentage of oil and then using a much smaller amount of Corexit would be a far better thing.

In other words, we strived for the best, we can't make the best, we failed on every front of this spill.

Peeeeeeeeeej1 karma

are we talking about Oil Water Separators or Skimmers?

lolboonesfarm2 karma

Your proof is fool proof.

Peeeeeeeeeej5 karma

haha sorry - i sent the mods more proof - i still work for the company and i know that the deepwater horizon spill is still going through a lot of legislation so I dont want to risk my job

consumeradvocacy2 karma

Damn, I hope I'm not too late.

  • Do oil spills happen more often than is reported in the mass media, if so how frequent are they?
  • What steps do you think should be taken by the oil companies to mitigate the severity of potential spills?
  • What is the current status of the BP spill, and what long-term impact has it had on the local ecosystem?

I want to finish by thanking you for you work and expressing my great hope that one day your job will no longer be necessary. :)

GEAUXUL3 karma

I'll answer. I work in the gulf.

Do oil spills happen more often than is reported in the mass media, if so how frequent are they?

No they don't happen often. And in most cases when they do occur the environmental impact is small. The mass media doesn't report on the small ones because there's not much of a need to. Here is a list. And just so you know in the US all spills or leaks, even if it's only a gallon of WD40, are immediately reported to the government. I know it's hard to believe but oil companies take that shit very seriously. If something spills it gets reported and investigated.

What steps do you think should be taken by the oil companies to mitigate the severity of potential spills?

We need to make sure there are strong incentives in place for oil companies to never want to spill a drop. We have to make the penalties for spilling oil so huge that they will work their tails off to make sure it never happens. The oil companies can police themselves much more effectively than the government can.

What is the current status of the BP spill, and what long-term impact has it had on the local ecosystem?

I live, play, and work around the ecosystem in Louisiana. According to environmental officials and as far as I can tell everything has been back to normal for a few years now. There is however a small minority that thinks the local seafood is unsafe for human consumption. Personally I don't agree with them but some people do.

Peeeeeeeeeej1 karma

what do you work on GEAUXUL?

Peeeeeeeeeej1 karma

Good questions.

Well I normally work out of New York Harbor and I'll say that theres about 2-3 oil spills in the largest eastern port per volume. They are already working on this through the various OSRO (Oil Spill Response Organizations) requirements. We need so much more new equipment and training - my job has gotten a lot more confusing since then. Okay as far as I know the BP spill is over, and has been for a year or so. In terms of longterm ecological impact its hard to say, but Ive always been the one to argue that while yes - 100,000,000 gallons plus has been spilled - the gulf of mexico is 1014 gallons of water - its a drop in the bucket when you really look at it.

apm11182 karma

How does your health compare to before and after working DWH? What symptoms did you have during the spill? What's your view on those that are still sick from it? What's your take on dispersant and did you ever get sprayed with it? Lots of questions!! Thanks in advance!

Peeeeeeeeeej2 karma

I had no health symptoms during the spill nor have I gotten really sick after working the spill - as far as the dispersant spray - they always made sure to do it away from the vessels working.

sparnkton2 karma

How many incidents have you seen over the past 3 years? How do each of them compare?

Peeeeeeeeeej3 karma

Ive only seen 2 in the past 3 years, - comparing the DeepWater Horizon Spill to the unreported (meaning that the media wasnt talking about it) Oil Spills that occured in NY Harbor after Hurricane Sandy - It all comes down to the specific type of oil that is being spilled. In Deepwater horizon - that was crude oil which is No 6 and heavy stuff, while in NY it was like a heating oil No 2 so it was light but definitely more noxious

MooingFishy1 karma

I heard the shrimps mutated because of the cleaning agents, is that true? If so is it okay to eat them?

Peeeeeeeeeej2 karma

as far as shrimp being able to eat - the EPA and other government agencies okayed em so i think thats fine

Spirit0fRadi01 karma

What does AmAA mean?

Peeeeeeeeeej2 karma

ask me almost anything - i feel like i got a questions about stuff thats beyond my expertise

vapidave1 karma

Did the people who were using the diapers to mop up the spill remove their tyvek suits when the cameras left?

I used to live in St. Bernard Parish so I might have a preconception.

Peeeeeeeeeej1 karma

on the boats - people wore tyvek suits until they were outside of the hot zone. In the decon zone - if they were just on break they were allowed to roll their suits down to keep themselves from overheating. If they were getting off the job - they would go through complete decon.

GodofWar2241 karma

How long did it take?

Peeeeeeeeeej2 karma

I specifically worked for a 150 days

JClary1 karma

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.

Do you think that digging for oil is worth some of the trouble like this - in terms of the profit vs. risk to the environment.

Also, how long does it take an effected area to get back to the way it was before the spill?

Thanks again.

Peeeeeeeeeej1 karma

Well im a green energy kinda guy - and i think that as a global society we should be rolling back the amount of oil digging we do for and push more greener energies. However, I know that costs alot of money and a lot of jobs so we should do some type of transitioning. As far as profit vs risk - i think that the profit far outweighs the risk - otherwise these companies wouldnt be doing it.

fonzynator1 karma

How did you get that job? Did they require you have a degree in like environmental science?

Peeeeeeeeeej1 karma

no i got the job because Im a Merchant Mariner - I went to school to get my Third Mates Unlimited License

transientapathy1 karma

My family lives near Mobile and, supposedly, the chemicals used to clean up the oil made a lot of people sick. What's your take on that?

Peeeeeeeeeej1 karma

i havent gotten seriously ill - and i worked around these chemicals - dont know

DaveLemon1 karma

May I ask if you have a degree - and if so, what's it in?

Does your job affect your environmental views?

What spills have you attended to? (may be a bit specific - I'll be more than happy with a ball-park number)

Thank you for doing an AmAA :)

Peeeeeeeeeej2 karma

My degree is in Marine Transportation and I have a 3rd Mate Unlimited Upon Oceans License. My job really first and foremost is being a sailor - it just so happens that Im a sailor for an oil spill response company. I have worked about 5 spills - in particular - the spills that occured after Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Ike and Gustav, and the Deepwater Horizon Spill

crystal641 karma

Why are oil eating funghi not widely used in oil spill cleanups?

Peeeeeeeeeej1 karma

i dont think the funghi would survive in the ocean environments

LunaticPanda1 karma

How often do you run into issues with management not wanting to fund your division of the company? If they decided to cut down on cost while building an oil rig I can't imagine them being very generous to a division that's there to clean up AFTER something goes wrong.. That may not make sense, but it did in my head? :)

Peeeeeeeeeej2 karma

my company is a non-for-profit - and it makes things better than compared to some of the for-profit OSROs that are out there. Its still a pain in the butt though - as all of our vessels are reaching 20 years old and things are starting to need full replacement

enderwigout1 karma

I also an Oil Spill Responder.

Peeeeeeeeeej1 karma

cool where did you work?

enderwigout2 karma

We worked in Bay St.Louis. We put up semi-permeable fences to help protect certain marshlands. We were working about 13 hours a day for two weeks.

Peeeeeeeeeej2 karma

i hear you man worked with a lot of guys who were working the beaches then made it out on the boats - they said working the swamps was awful -120 degree weather in those tarmac suits are horrible

Superhotglue1 karma

Do you do any work outside of oil spills? If so, what? In a smaller oil spill what would be the steps required to contain and clean?

Thanks for doing this AMA.

Peeeeeeeeeej2 karma

As stated before a lot of my job consists of training training training. Plus we have to keep all of our equipment up to tiptop shape so a lot of preventative maintenance.

Noahjm131 karma

What is the coolest part of the job? What was the thing that left you feeling the most shell shocked? What is your opinion on just burning the oil in the ocean if that's even possible?

Peeeeeeeeeej2 karma

  1. Just being on the open ocean - ive always loved that and to be honest wish I could get to do it more often. 2. The amount of oil we found near Pensacola, FL - horrifying. 3. Incenduburns work well - but should only be used in large spills. ln small spills its best to just capture as much oil as possible.

sandman23301 karma

really, i live in Pensacola and i remember everyone freaking out about it, but in reality nothing happened, everyone still went out on the beach

Peeeeeeeeeej1 karma

we were three miles out - and the tide lines were keeping the beaches pretty much safe but it was close

petecottonmouth1 karma

First off, thank you for what you do. It's really an important and greatly over-looked job. - Is there any risk in your line of work in the forms of on-sight safety hazards and if so, did you ever feel at risk working on this particular spill?

Peeeeeeeeeej1 karma

there are a lot of risks in doing my job - firstly navigating a vessel being in the open ocean will always be dangerous - "The sea is selective, slow in recognition of effort and aptitude but fast in sinking the unfit."

In specific risks, theres always the chance of benzene, H2S, Explosive atmospheres, and volatile organic compounds. However, we have industrial hygienists who are constantly testing the air quality with expensive meters. Only once did we hit an area where our meters told us to evacuate, and the ship did that - but it only happened once and never again,

InfiniteRelease1 karma

What do you think about the natural gas revolution under way?

Peeeeeeeeeej2 karma

all 4 it - but it needs to be regulated a lot better - fracking could be something that moves us into better and cheaper energy - however, if its done incorrectly can have horrible environmental effects.

falconj1 karma

How often do you accidentally confuse algal blooms for oil spills?

Peeeeeeeeeej1 karma

alot actually - however, some of the algae blooms contained oil - so we had to do our best to try and clean that up as well - gave a boatload of problems for our skimmers

dog_in_the_vent1 karma

I used to fly around that same area on a regular basis when this spill happened, never saw a drop of oil in the water or on the shore.

Not trying to debunk anything, just offering my personal experience on the matter.

Peeeeeeeeeej1 karma

gotta realize the gulf of mexico is huge - and the amount of oil while definitely significant is still like a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things

mcfattykins1 karma

What has been the biggest consequence that not a lot of people know?

Peeeeeeeeeej2 karma

well ill tell you the biggest non-consequence that occured - a lot of the OSROs (oil spill response organizations) that worked that spill are part of a larger organization that BP is part owner of - so in essence they were just paying themselves to clean up the oil

telestrial1 karma

Hi. Do you have any proof? You just posted pictures of the spill. I could find those in 2 seconds on Google. Also, you saying you messaged the mods isn't proof either..especially since I don't see a verified.

Peeeeeeeeeej1 karma - and what were the sites that you found those pictures - cause those are mine

AprilFoolAMA-17 karma


Peeeeeeeeeej10 karma

Heh. . .um I dont know it was one of the largest oil spills in world history. And secondly being there first hand I could explain why it took so long to clean up and how it was done