06 May 2011 Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig

Photo credit: US Coast Guard

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Lamar Billups, a lifelong resident of the US gulf coast, remembers the spill and reflects on the harm done...

I remember the first time I smelled the oil. I was at my son’s baseball game. Part way into the game everyone began to smell something like burning tires.

The air got very heavy and I could feel it on my skin and taste it in my mouth. That was the first night my son woke me up saying he couldn’t breathe. Every night after that was the same, whether we could smell the oil or not.

We later found out that first time we smelled the oil was the first time they had the burns out on the water. My son woke me up every night needing to use his inhaler. He has been an asthmatic since he was small, but not in years had he been that bad.

Read the rest on Greenpeace USA's blog.

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