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
Administrator Jackson Continues Her Sixth Visit to the Gulf Coast
In her sixth visit to the Gulf Coast, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson today traveled to Florida to inspect the ongoing response to the BP oil spill. She visited Pensacola, Fla., to oversee beach cleanup operations and later met with EPA scientists in Gulf Breeze, Fla., to be briefed on ongoing dispersant testing. She also attended a meeting with local elected leaders, public health officials and other community representatives at the EPA’s Gulf Breeze Lab—to address concerns about the short- and long-term environmental impacts of the spill.
The EPA continues to monitor air, water and sediment quality in the Gulf of Mexico and test the impacts of chemical dispersants. For more information on the testing results, click here.
Shoreline Cleanup Operations Continue Along Gulf Coast
While some offshore mitigation efforts such as skimming and controlled burns have been restricted or halted due to elevated sea states from Hurricane Alex, shoreline cleanup operations continue in places where oil has come ashore.
Shoreline cleanup assessment teams monitor beaches and marshlands to identify impacted shoreline and determine the appropriate technique to remove the oil—taking into account various factors, such as the amount oil, its viscosity, and the environmental sensitivity of the impacted area. In some cases, the oil can be removed mechanically; at other times, teams of workers are the best method. In certain environmentally sensitive areas, cleanup operations can do more harm than good.
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—collecting oil aboard the Discoverer Enterprise, which is linked by a fixed riser pipe to the wellhead, and flaring off additional oil and gas on the Q4000, which is connected to the choke line. The collection capacity is expected to increase to an estimated 53,000 barrels per day once the third vessel, the Helix Producer, begins bringing additional oil up through the kill line—a redundancy measure also taken at the administration’s direction.
Progress Continues in Drilling Relief Wells; Ranging Process Continues
The drilling of relief wells continues and has not been interrupted by elevated sea states. The Development Driller III has drilled the first relief well to a depth of approximately 17,400 feet below the Gulf surface. The Development Driller II has drilled the second relief well—a redundancy measure taken at the direction of the administration—to a depth of more than 13,800 feet below the surface. BP continues the “ranging” process—which involves periodically withdrawing the drill pipe and sending an electrical signal down to determine how close they are getting to the wellbore.
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, 1,577 are active.
- Approximately 44,300 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
- More than 6,900 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 2.87 million feet of containment boom and 5.09 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 863,000 feet of containment boom and 2.36 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
- More than 28.2 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
- Approximately 1.67 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied—1.06 million on the surface and 612,000 sub-sea. More than 451,000 gallons are available.
- 275 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of approximately 10 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 444 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently oiled—approximately 258 miles in Louisiana, 62 miles in Mississippi, 51 miles in Alabama, and 73 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 80,228 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 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 Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, Tunisia the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization and the European Union's Monitoring and Information Centre.
- 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 (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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.