The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill
UPDATED June 22, 2010 7 PM
* For a full timeline of the Administration-wide response, visit the White House Blog.
PAST 24 HOURS
President Obama Discusses Oil Spill Response with Cabinet Officials
At a Cabinet meeting held today at the White House, President Obama met with senior administration officials to discuss a range of topics—including the ongoing federal response to one of the worst natural disasters in the nation’s history.
In remarks following the meeting, the President highlighted the work of Ken Feinberg—the newly-appointed administrator of the $20 billion escrow account announced last week, who has traveled to the Gulf to meet with governors and local officials—and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who briefed the President on the operations to protect the shoreline, including skimming and controlled burns.
Admiral Allen Provides Operational Update on the 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.
Fish and Wildlife Continues Efforts to Recover and Rehabilitate Oiled Wildlife
U.S. Fish and Wildlife and National Park Service personnel continue efforts to protect Gulf Coast wildlife and habitats from the effects of the BP oil spill. On Monday, rescue and recovery teams responded to a total of 60 calls to the Wildlife Hotline reporting oiled or injured wildlife along the Gulf Coast. To report oiled wildlife, call (866) 557-1401.
BP Continues to Optimize Oil Recovery Rates from its Leaking Well
Under the direction of the federal government, BP continues to capture some oil and burn gas at the surface using its containment dome technique.
In addition to the oil collection aboard the Discoverer Enterprise, which is linked by the riser pipe to the wellhead, and the Q4000, which continues to flare off additional oil and gas being brought up through the choke lines—a method that was also put in place at the government’s direction.
Under the direction of the National Incident Commander, BP is making preparations to bring a third vessel to the vicinity of the leaking well in order to increase collection capacity.
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, 275 burns have been conducted to remove more than 9.32 million gallons of oil from the water.
Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Surpass $5.75 Million; Deferments on Existing SBA Disaster Loans Top $2 Million per Month
SBA has approved 94 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $5.75 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 452 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $2.12 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 email@example.com.
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. To date, 69,872 claims have been opened, from which more than $118 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are 730 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; currently, 1,566 are active.
- Approximately 37,000 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 2.54 million feet of containment boom and 4.14 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 600,000 feet of containment boom and 2 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
- Approximately 25 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
- Approximately 1.45 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied—970,000 on the surface and 483,000 subsea. More than 445,000 gallons are available.
- 275 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of more than 9.32 million gallons of oil from the open water in an effort to protect shoreline and wildlife. Because calculations on the volume of oil burned can take more than 48 hours, the reported total volume may not reflect the most recent controlled burns.
- 17 staging areas are in place to protect sensitive shorelines.
- Approximately 171 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently oiled—approximately 34 miles in Louisiana, 41 miles in Mississippi, 42 miles in Alabama, and 54 miles in Florida. These numbers reflect a daily snapshot of shoreline currently experiencing impacts from oil so that planning and field operations can more quickly respond to new impacts; they do not include cumulative impacts to date, or shoreline that has already been cleared.
- Approximately 87,000 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. Sixty-four percent remains 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.
- To contact the Deepwater Horizon Joint Information Center, call (713) 323-1670.
- 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.
- 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.