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Volunteers train to help at Gulf oil leak

Workers lay down an oil boom in Pascagoula, Miss. as the oil-containment effort continues on the Gulf coast.

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Steve Chiotakis: Oil keeps leaking from that BP well in the Gulf of Mexico, a mile below the surface. Today, officials from the petroleum company, the U.S. Coast Guard and the federal government are trying to stop the oil from gushing freely into the Gulf. Meanwhile, people affected by the environmental disaster -- those who live and make a living along the Gulf coast -- are training to help in the clean-up. Reporter Kate Archer Kent is with us from Bay St. Louis, Miss. Good morning, Kate.

Kate Archer Kent: Good morning.

Chiotakis: What are they being trained for?

Kent: They're being trained in a basic safety training. It's mainly geared toward volunteers who are picking up litter on the beaches.

Chiotakis: And this is akin to sort of like sweeping before mopping the kitchen floor, right?

Kent: Yeah, they want to make sure that when this oil does wash ashore, it doesn't create more hazardous material out of the trash that's currently on the beaches. And that's why they put these volunteers to work on a preclean-up on these beaches.

Chiotakis: And how many people are we talking about, Kate?

Kent: Well, BP told me Gulf-wide, they have 1,000 people trained so far, and that they're not turning anyone away. Here in Hancock County, Miss., they had about 80 people show up yesterday, and this training will go on all week.

Chiotakis: Does anyone know where this slick is going to wind up?

Kent: No -- BP is watching the weather just like everyone is, trying to figure out where it will wash ashore; they just don't know. But they want to have people trained and in place wherever it does wash ashore.

Chiotakis: Reporter Kate Archer Kent is with us from Bay St. Louis, Miss. Kate, thanks.

Kent: You're welcome.

About the author

Steve Chiotakis was the host of Marketplace Morning Report until January 2012.
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