The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill
UPDATED 7 PM
* For a full timeline of the Administration-wide response, visit the White House Blog.
PAST 24 HOURS
President Obama Announces Fourth Trip to Gulf Coast Next Week
On Monday, June 14, and Tuesday, June 15, the President will make his fourth trip to the Gulf Coast—traveling to Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to further assess the latest efforts to counter the BP oil spill.
Admiral Allen and Administrator Lubchenco Provide Operational Update
National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen and NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco provided a briefing to inform the American public and answer questions on the progress of the administration-wide response to the BP oil spill from the Department of Homeland Security Headquarters Nebraska Avenue Complex. A transcript is available here.
NOAA Completes Initial Analysis of Weatherbird II Water Samples
At the briefing, Administrator Lubchenco announced details of the initial analysis of water samples from the University of South Florida’s Weatherbird II, which confirmed the presence of very low concentrations of sub-surface oil and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons)—determined to be in the range of less than 0.5 parts per million, and PAH levels in the range of parts per trillion. The full report is available here.
Other NOAA scientific research missions to study subsurface impacts in the vicinity of the BP Deepwater Horizon wellhead include the NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson, which is currently underway, and the NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter, which returned June 3 from an eight-day oil detection mission. In addition, NOAA’s P-3 “Hurricane Hunter” is deploying instruments to better track the movement of the Loop Current, and therefore improve our understanding of where the oil is moving at the surface and below the surface.
NOAA Deploys Additional High Powered Research Aircraft to Monitor Gulf Air
A second NOAA WP-3D Orion aircraft was deployed to the Gulf today to build on current air quality monitoring efforts near the BP oil spill. The NOAA aircraft conducted two flights over and around the spill site to detect pollutants and their reaction products released into the atmosphere by the oil, as well as the pollutants and smoke from controlled burns. The flights will enable researchers to better understand the spill’s atmospheric effects.
As part of the federal government's ongoing response to the BP spill, EPA continues its extensive air quality monitoring along the Gulf Coast. In this case, NOAA and EPA are working collaboratively to take advantage of NOAA’s highly specialized atmospheric research capabilities, which can detect concentrations of compounds in the atmosphere with greater sensitivity than standard operational monitoring flights.
Department of Energy Makes Public Detailed Information on the BP Oil Spill
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that the Department of Energy is providing online access to schematics, pressure tests, diagnostic results and other data about the malfunctioning blowout preventer—to ensure the public is informed and outside experts making recommendations have access to the same information that BP and the government have. The information is posted at www.energy.gov.
At the President’s direction, Secretary Chu has assembled a team of top scientists and engineers from academia and the U.S. government, with support from more than 200 personnel from the Department of Energy’s National Laboratories, to analyze the response efforts and recommend additional options for stopping the leaking oil.
Secretary Locke Hosts Conference Call with Gulf Coast Tourism Leaders
Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke hosted a conference call today with leaders from the travel and tourism industry in the Gulf Coast—an opportunity to hear firsthand about the impacts of the BP oil spill and receive feedback on what else the federal government could be doing to help mitigate the damage.
BP Continues to Capture Some Oil and Gas Using Containment Device
BP continues to capture some oil and burn some gas at the surface using its containment dome technique, which is being executed under the federal government’s direction. After cutting off a portion of the riser, BP placed a containment device over it in order to capture oil at its source.
Administration Continues to Oversee BP’s Claims Process
The administration will continue to hold the responsible parties accountable for repairing the damage, and repaying Americans who’ve suffered a financial loss as a result of the BP oil spill. BP reports that 39,659 claims have been opened, from which more than $49.6 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are 531 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.
Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Surpass $2 Million
SBA has approved 46 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $2.05 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 334 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling $1,440,000 per month in payments. For information on assistance loans for affected businesses, visit the SBA’s Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance, call (800) 659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By the Numbers to Date:
- The administration has authorized 17,500 National Guard troops from Gulf Coast states to participate in the response to the BP oil spill.
- More than 24,000 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
- More than 3,500 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.
- Approximately 2.25 million feet of containment boom and 2.55 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 670,000 feet of containment boom and 2.38 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
- Approximately 15.86 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
- Approximately 1.12 million gallons of total dispersant have been deployed—790,000 on the surface and 330,000 subsea. More than 480,000 gallons are available.
- More than 130 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of more than 3.5 million gallons of oil from the open water in an effort to protect shoreline and wildlife.
- 17 staging areas are in place and ready to protect sensitive shorelines.
- 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, visit www.epa.gov/bpspill.
- 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.
- In addition, www.disasterassistance.gov has been enhanced to provide a one-stop shop for information on how to file a claim with BP and access additional assistance—available in English and Spanish.
For information about the response effort, visit www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.