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
Admiral Allen Provides Operational Update of BP Oil Spill Response
National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen provided a briefing to inform the American public and answer questions on the progress of the administration-wide response to the BP oil spill. A transcript is available here.
Secretary Napolitano Makes Her Fifth Trip to the Gulf Coast
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano traveled to Louisiana to get a firsthand look of the ongoing, all-hands-on-deck response to the BP oil spill. She visited the Houma, La., incident command center to meet with Coast Guard personnel directing the response, then traveled to Grand Isle, La., to view skimming operations aboard a Coast Guard Cutter.
Administrator Jackson Briefs Congressional Delegation on EPA Oversight Efforts
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, a native of the Gulf region, traveled to Grand Isle, La.—also her fifth trip to the Gulf Coast—leading a bipartisan congressional delegation. She briefed them on the EPA’s ongoing efforts to protect the health and safety of Gulf Coast residents by monitoring air, water and sediment quality, and dispersant levels. Jackson also met with members of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the Coast Guard to inspect beach cleanup efforts and waste management activities.
The Congressiontal delegation led by Administrator Jackson included U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, David Vitter of Louisiana, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon.
Unified Area Command Continues to Provide Extensive Media Access
As it has since the beginning of the response to the BP oil spill, the Unified Area Command continues to schedule regular embed opportunities to facilitate safe access for media interested in covering the nation’s largest ever oil spill response effort.
Any members of the press who encounter response personnel restricting their access or violating the media access policy set forth by Admiral Allen should contact the Joint Information Center. Click here for more information, including a list of regular embed opportunities.
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.
Plans Continue to Increase Capacity for Storing Captured Oil
Under the direction of Admiral Allen, BP engineers continue to refine plans for two more collection systems that will use connections on the blowout preventer capture more of the leaking oil in the near term. Gas and oil flow will be collected on the drill ships Q4000 and Clear Leader. Plans to acquire equipment for long-term containment and disposal are being examined.
Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Surpas s $2.2 Million
SBA has approved 54 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $2.24 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 358 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $1.63 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.
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 50,101 claims have been opened, from which more than $58.1 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are 557 claims adjusters on the ground. To file a claim, visit www.bp.com/claims or call BP’s helpline at (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.
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 24,700 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
· More than 5,500 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 2.24 million feet of containment boom and 2.9 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 460,000 feet of containment boom and 2.3 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
· Approximately 18.5 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
· Approximately 1.17 million gallons of total dispersant have been deployed—800,000 on the surface and 370,000 subsea. More than 515,000 gallons are available.
· More than 165 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of more than 3.85 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.
· 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, visit www.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.
· 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 email@example.com.
· 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.