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Washington D.C.
Unified Command Joint Information Center
News Release
Saturday, June 19, 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

BP Continues to Optimize Oil Recovery Rates from its Leaking Well

BP continues to capture some oil and burn 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.

Progress Continues in Drilling Relief Wells

The Development Driller III continues to drill the first relief well to a depth of approximately 11,000 feet below the sea floor, and crews have begun the process of cementing and casing the well liner. The Development Driller II has drilled the second relief well—a redundancy measure taken at the direction of the administration—to a depth of approximately 5,000 feet below the sea floor.

Interior Department Reaches Nearly 1,000 Personnel Deployed to Gulf Response

The Department of the Interior has deployed nearly 1,000 total personnel as part of the administration-wide response to the BP oil spill—including approximately 500 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 170 from the Minerals Management Service, nearly 200 from the National Park Service and approximately 70 from the U.S. Geological Survey, in addition to senior officials engaged both in Washington and leading DOI efforts along the Gulf Coast, with all actions coordinated by National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen.

Volunteers Receive Training to Help National Park Visitors Understand the Oil Spill

Community volunteers will start joining National Park Service rangers on the shores of Gulf Islands National Seashore to talk with summer visitors about the oil spill’s effects on the barrier islands and their natural and cultural resources. Prior to working on the beaches, the volunteers will receive training from NPS rangers, biologists and communications specialists. Join this training to film/interview community members who will learn the knowledge and techniques to provide key information to beach goers related to health and safety, recreational opportunities, and resource protection messages.

EPA Continues to Conduct Air, Water and Sediment Monitoring in the Gulf.

EPA is conducting additional air monitoring for ozone and airborne particulate matter. The air monitoring conducted through June 17 has found levels of ozone and particulates ranging from the "good" to "unhealthy for sensitive groups" levels on EPA’s Air Quality Index.

EPA’s recent surface water results collected along the Gulf Coast have found the combination of oil related organic compounds to exceed chronic aquatic life benchmarks. These are levels that could impact the health, growth or reproductive activity of aquatic life if exposed for an extended period of time.

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. 64,536 claims have been opened, from which more than $104.4 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 33,000 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
  • More than 6,300 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 2.44 million feet of containment boom and 3.87 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 544,000 feet of containment boom and 1.88 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
  • Approximately 22.9 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
  • Approximately 1.36 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied—931,000 on the surface and 436,000 subsea. More than 500,000 gallons are available.
  • 244 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 59 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently experiencing impacts from BP’s leaking oil—approximately 34 miles in Louisiana, four miles in Mississippi, nine miles in Alabama, and 12 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.
  • 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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