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Washington D.C.
Unified Command Joint Information Center
News Release
Friday, June 18, 2010

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 on the BP Oil Spill Response

National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen provided a briefing from the Unified Area Command in New Orleans 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.

BP Continues to Optimize Oil Recovery Rates from its Leaking Well

BP continues to increase the amount of captured oil and burn more gas at the surface using its containment dome technique, which is being executed under the federal government’s direction.

In addition to the Discoverer Enterprise, which is linked by the riser pipe to the wellhead, a second recovery vessel, the Q4000, continues to flare off additional oil and gas being brought up through the choke and kill lines—a method that was also put in place at the government’s direction. Nearly 30,000 barrels were recovered in the most recent 24-hour period.

Progress Continues in Drilling Relief Wells

The Development Driller III continues to drill the first relief well to a depth of more than 10,600 feet below the sea floor. The Development Driller II has drilled the second relief well—a redundancy measure taken at the direction of the federal government—to a depth of more than 4,600 feet below the sea floor.

National Parks Service Reaches 179 Staff Deployed to Protect Vital Parkland

In the Gulf of Mexico, the Department of the Interior protects eight national parks and 36 wildlife refuges, from Texas to Florida. NPS has dispatched 179 staff as part of the BP oil spill response. The National Park Service has deployed incident management personnel from across the country to assess and clean up oil impacts, protect the park’s critical natural and cultural resources—including wildlife, birds, and historic structure—and serve the visiting public.

Fish and Wildlife Service Reaches 495 Staff Deployed to Protect Vital Wildlife

The Fish and Wildlife Service continues to coordinate and supervise search and capture for oiled wildlife—conducting aerial flights to identify oiled wildlife and helping facilitate recovery and treatment, and leading numerous bird survey teams in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida to determine the extent of the oil impact on birds and other wildlife. FWS has dispatched 495 staff to deal with Gulf response efforts.

Successful Controlled Burn

In recent days, favorable weather conditions have allowed responders to conduct successful controlled burn operations. 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. In total, more than 225 burns have been conducted to remove more than five million gallons of oil from the water.

Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Surpass $4.7 Million

SBA has approved 74 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $4.7 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 434 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $1.9 million 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 disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

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 62,004 claims have been opened, from which more than $89.8 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are 698 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. Additional information about the BP claims process and all available avenues of assistance can be found at www.disasterassistance.gov.

By the Numbers to Date:

·         The administration has authorized the deployment of 17,500 National Guard troops from Gulf Coast states to respond to this crisis; to date, 1,612 have been activated.

·         Approximately 31,000 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.

·         More than 6,200 vessels are currently 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 2.42 million feet of containment boom and 3.77 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 492,000 feet of containment boom and 2.03 million feet of sorbent boom are available.

·         Approximately 22.3 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.

·         Approximately 1.34 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied—915,000 on the surface and 429,000 subsea. More than 530,000 gallons are available.

·         More than 225 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of more than 5.25 million gallons of oil from the open water in an effort to protect shoreline and wildlife.

·         17 staging areas are in place to protect sensitive shorelines.

·         Approximately 61 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently experiencing impacts from BP’s leaking oil—approximately 35 miles in Louisiana, four miles in Mississippi, nine miles in Alabama, and 13 miles in Florida.

·         Approximately 80,800 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. More than 66 percent remain open. Details can be found at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/.

·         To date, the administration has leveraged assets and skills from numerous foreign countries and international organizations as part of this historic, all-hands-on-deck response, including Canada, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization and the European Union's Monitoring and Information Centre.

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, 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 disastercustomerservice@sba.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.

·         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.  

·         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.

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






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