Midland Woman Helps With Oil Spill Disaster in the Gulf Coast

by Diane Tuazon
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - A local oceanic engineer has been assigned a huge role to help remove the contamination of the oil spill on the Gulf Coast. NewsWest 9 had the chance to talk with her as she explained how demanding this job can be.

Stephanie Brown has family ties in Midland, but lately she's been busy braving the ocean and doing what she's passionate about, but little did Brown know her knowledge would be put to the test as the country continues to watch millions of gallons of oil spill into the Gulf Coast every day.

"Over the weeks I've been out there, you can see that it's getting worse and worse," Stephanie Brown said.

Brown is sent out weeks at a time and works with the highest authorities of the Navy, Coast Guard and BP officials. 

Her duty is off shore and near shore skimming as well as putting protective booms in environmentally sensitive areas.

"It's still leaking and so there's an increase in volume everyday, but we have 40 skimming vessels out there cleaning oil, so far we cleaned 5,500 barrels alone; that's 5,500 barrels that won't hit shore," Brown said.

Stephanie's family, who still lives in Midland, say their extremely proud of what she's doing to help the country, and hope that it sets an example for others.

"Stephanie's been training for this and while you hope you won't have to use your skills in real life, because that would mean there is a disaster," Stephanie's father, Bill Brown said.

"She's got a cool job and it makes me want to get a job like her to help the environment," Stephanie's cousin, Andrew Norwood, said.

"She's one of the hardest working people I know. She's been training for something like this, and she's doing so well," Stephanie's brother, Jeff Brown said.

As for Stephanie she says although the oil leak is an obvious disaster, she feels that BP has been painted in a negative light and wants to assure the public that BP officials are doing all they can to resolve this matter.

"BP has been bending over backwards, if you need resources, they give it to you and money is no object to them. There is no limit to what BP is doing and I feel like they're doing everything they can," Brown said.

Stephanie Brown will be sent out to shore once again in about another week or so; she says she's confident her team will do well with removing as much contamination as possible.