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State of emergency in place


In a special meeting late Friday, Pascagoula city leaders declared a state of emergency and approved a resolution allowing contractors working on the oil spill to set up shop in industrial zones without going through the city's usual permit process.

"What we're trying to do is to make it easy for people (contractors) coming in to help," Mayor Robbie Maxwell said, adding that BP also has set up a downtown office on Delmas Avenue with a person on site to serve as a liaison for officials with questions related to the spill.

Pat Presley, a former state representative who is now working with BP, is heading up that operation, Maxwell said.

Fire Chief Robert O'Sullivan added that only contractors working on matters related to the oil spill will be allowed to bypass the permit process to set up shop in any buildings, such as any warehouse facilities in the industrial zones.