Parish oil spill clean-up workers still owed money DRC and BP in talksParish oil spill clean-up workers still owed moneyNov 29th, 2010 | By Terri Sercovich | Category: top story
DRC and BP in talks
Even though the BP oil spill clean-up has ceased, Plaquemines Parish oil spill workers are still owed money from DRC Group, the company contracted by BP to orchestrate the clean-up efforts in five Louisiana parishes, including Plaquemines.
“We asked DRC for a full account of what they owe our local people and we’re hoping that BP will hold DRC accountable to cover those checks,” Parish President Billy Nungesser said. “It’s a substantial amount of money. A lot of people are owed money for their fuel and their supplies.”
Up until Nov. 10, DRC was netting payroll to workers out of their own funds, and waiting to be reimbursed by BP.
When BP didn’t pay DRC, DRC stopped paying its contracted workers, but continued to pay the hourly-wage people, until DRC stopped clean-up crews altogether, according to DRC media contact, Paula Pendarvis.
“We continue to work with BP in effort to resolve the nonpayment issue,” Pendarvis said. “We have been meeting daily with them in Houston and hope to have resolution soon. We are trying to come up with at least short term funding.”
It was speculated that BP refused to pay up after DRC declined to turnover bookkeeping records.
“The DRC invoices are being reviewed and BP is in the process of reconciling them,” said Todd Beyer, Unified Command Spokesperson. “BP has asked for additional supporting documentation and DRC is working to provide it.”
Each of Louisiana’s parishes was given the option of hiring and organizing their own clean-up project using money given by BP, or having the task contracted out; Plaquemines opted for the latter.
“Unfortunately the parish doesn’t have a seat at the table. The deal is between BP and DRC. All we did was always try to help the locals get hired on,” Nungesser said.
DRC Group is a disaster response corporation with projects and offices around the globe.
Part of their responsibility was finding out-of-work residents with boats, for example fishermen, and giving them jobs involved with the clean-up. Though at this point, these workers are back to square one.
“BP has cancelled our contract. All we’re doing is decontaminating and decommissioning,” Pendarvis said.