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Perth wax researcher arrives at Gulf Coast to aid clean up
PERTH - Perth wax researcher Willy Nelson has arrived in Louisiana to offer advice on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill cleanup, but so far, he hasn’t been able to access the oil-tainted water.
“They’ve got the police, army and coast guard blocking off the beaches,” Nelson said on Monday. “Things are pretty hectic around here.”
Nelson and Louisiana businessman Kirk Bergeron, who is sponsoring Nelson’s trip, intended to fly over the affected areas to look for a spot where they could access the water to get oil samples to test.
Nelson uses granulated wax to soak up oil into a solid that can be skimmed off water. International Group – IGI Wax delivered donations of wax supplies to Louisiana for him to use, Nelson said.
Bergeron took an interest in Nelson’s 40 years of wax research, some of which is posted on his website, www.waxforpollution.com, and decided to fly Nelson to the Gulf Coast to see if his demonstrations could attract the attention of government and BP officials.
The trip was initially delayed because Bergeron was going to send him samples of oil mixed with oil dispersant that is being used to break up the slick; however, parish governments (similar to counties in Ontario) have begun to put pressure on BP as oil approaches marshes. The parishes announced they were seeking ideas from the public, with a quickly approaching deadline.
“They were frustrated and said ‘To hell with you. We’re not going to wait on you – we’ll do it ourselves,’” Bergeron said.
So far, Bergeron and Nelson haven’t co-ordinated their efforts with local officials, but Nelson was confident that garnering attention through wax demonstrations on local TV channels will make the people in charge of the cleanup sit up and take notice.
Nelson said he doesn’t intend to return to Canada until he has shown people what his wax can do.
“I’m not going to leave here until I do a demonstration,” he said. “I just want to get the job done.”