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Washington D.C.
Unified Command Joint Information Center
News Release
Sunday, May 23, 2010

UPDATED 7 PM

* For a full timeline of the Administration-wide response, visit the White House Blog.

PAST 24 HOURS

Secretary Salazar Meets with Federal Science Team Working at BP Command Center

Secretary Salazar traveled to the BP Command Center in Houston to meet with the federal science team that is working with BP officials, scientists and engineers to help stop the flow of oil from BP’s well. Since day one, Secretary Salazar has continued to hold BP accountable for meeting critical deadlines as they attempt to close the well.

Oil Cleanup Efforts Continue to Build in Louisiana

Response personnel and Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Teams, along with hundreds of volunteers, continue to clean the Louisiana coastal areas impacted by the Deepwater BP oil spill. Approximately 400 people, more than 300 vessels and 45 aircraft are on-scene in Iberia, Jefferson, Lafourche, Plaquemines, and Terrebonne Parishes investigating reports of oil, cleaning impacted areas and evaluating response efforts to ensure the oil is removed with the most environmentally responsible methods. 

Response crews and Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Teams have positioned more than half a million feet of boom in the region. They are manually removing oil with shovels and rakes, skimming the oil off the surface, applying dispersant and conducting controlled burning operations at every opportunity to minimize coastal impact.

Additional response personnel and equipment is being surged into areas where modeling and aerial surveillance indicate a greater potential for shoreline impact. Anyone who locates oil on the shore should avoid contact and report the sighting to (866) 448-5816.

Fish and Wildlife Operations Continue to Expand

Assistant Secretary of Fish and Wildlife and Parks Tom Strickland visited Robert, Port Fourchon and Delta National Wildlife Refuge to oversee wildlife rescue missions and plans. Fish and Wildlife Service is working to expand their operations further to the west pursuant to reports of the oil spill impacting assets in that direction. Up to 10 personnel will be based out of Grand Isle and a barge will be moved to Trinity Island. An additional helicopter has been obtained to assist with wildlife rescue missions.

Property Damage Claims Processed

The administration will continue to hold the relevant companies accountable for repairing the damage and repaying Americans who’ve suffered a financial loss. BP continues to process claims via its claims website (www.bp.com/claims) and its helpline (1-800-440-0858). BP reports that 23,451 claims have been opened, from which $27.8 million has been disbursed. No claims have been denied at this time. There are more than 420 claims adjusters on the ground. To file a claim, visit www.bp.com/claims or call BP’s helpline at 1-800-440-0858. Those who have already pursued the BP claims process and are not satisfied with BP’s resolution, can call the Coast Guard at (800) 280-7118.

Controlled Burn Conducted

Favorable weather conditions allowed responders to conduct a successful controlled burn operation. As part of a coordinated response that combines tactics deployed above water, below water, offshore, and close to coastal areas, controlled burns efficiently remove oil from the open water in an effort to protect shoreline and wildlife. 

By the Numbers to Date:

-      Personnel were quickly deployed and more than 22,000 are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife.

-      More than 1,150 vessels are responding on site, including skimmers, tugs, barges, and recovery vessels to assist in containment and cleanup efforts—in addition to dozens of aircraft, remotely operated vehicles, and multiple mobile offshore drilling units.

-      More than 1.73 million feet of containment boom and 730,000 feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 275,000 feet of containment boom and 1.25 million feet of sorbent boom are available. 

-      Approximately 10.2 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered. 

-      Approximately 785,000 gallons of total dispersant have been deployed—685,000 on the surface and 100,000 subsea. More than 340,000 gallons are available.

-      17 staging areas are in place and ready to protect sensitive shorelines, including: Dauphin Island, Ala., Orange Beach, Ala., Theodore, Ala., Panama City, Fla., Pensacola, Fla.,  Port St. Joe, Fla., St. Marks, Fla.,  Amelia, La., Cocodrie, La., Grand Isle, La., Shell Beach, La., Slidell, La., St. Mary, La.; Venice, La., Biloxi, Miss., Pascagoula, Miss., and Pass Christian, Miss.

 

Resources:

-      For information about the response effort, visit www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.

-      For specific information about the federal-wide response, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/deepwater-bp-oil-spill.

-      To contact the Deepwater Horizon Joint Information Center, call (985) 902-5231.

-      To volunteer, or to report oiled shoreline, call (866) 448-5816. Volunteer opportunities can also be found here.

-      To submit your vessel as a vessel of opportunity skimming system, or to submit alternative response technology, services, or products, call 281- 366-5511.

-      To report oiled wildlife, call (866) 557-1401. Messages will be checked hourly.

-      For information about validated environmental air and water sampling results, visitwww.epa.gov/bpspill.

-      For National Park Service updates about potential park closures, resources at risk, and NPS actions to protect vital park space and wildlife, visit http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/oil-spill-response.htm.

-      For Fish and Wildlife Service updates about response along the Gulf Coast and the status of national wildlife refuges, visit http://www.fws.gov/home/dhoilspill/.

-      For daily updates on fishing closures, visit http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov

-      To file a claim with BP, visit www.bp.com/claims or call BP’s helpline at (800) 440-0858. A BP fact sheet with additional information is available here. Those who have already pursued the BP claims process and are not satisfied with BP’s resolution, can call the Coast Guard at (800) 280-7118.  More information about what types of damages are eligible for compensation under the Oil Pollution Act as well as guidance on procedures to seek that compensation can be found here.   

For information about the response effort, visit www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.






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