Well a post-spill report is out examining the effectiveness of the berms and guess what... the experts were right. The berms were very expensive at over $200 million dollars and counting, but ended up collecting almost no oil.
By October, about 10 miles of berms had been built several miles from the gulf coastline at a cost of $220 million, with construction paid for entirely by BP.
Louisiana officials estimate that the berms stopped 1,000 barrels of oil from the spill. By contrast, more than 800,000 barrels were captured at the wellhead, and roughly 270,000 barrels were burned off by Coast Guard vessels. Skimming operations recovered at least 34 million gallons of oil-water mixture.
“$220 million for a spill response measure that trapped not much more than 1,000 barrels of oil is not a compelling cost-benefit tradeoff,” the commission staff wrote.
On the plus size, Louisiana did manage to get free funding for miles and miles of berms that might potentially help stop coastline erosion. But this was certainly not the way the project was sold to the American people.
(This post also apears on Stinque).