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 Directs BP to Provide More Details on Plans and Timelines
National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen today sent a letter to BP Chief Managing Director Bob Dudley directing BP to provide him—within the next 24 hours—with more detailed plans and timelines relating to efforts to stop the leaking oil and protect the shoreline. Throughout this response, the federal government has directed BP to develop more detailed plans, create redundancy measures in case those plans fail, and apply additional resources to the largest response to an oil spill in our nation’s history. Click here to view the letter.
Admiral Allen Provides Operational Update on the BP Oil Spill Response
Admiral 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.
BP Continues to Optimize Oil Recovery Rates; Prepares to Increase Collection Capacity
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. BP also is in the progress of connecting a floating riser pipe to third vessel, the Helix Producer, which will increase collection capacity to an estimated 53,000 barrels per day by bringing up additional oil up through the kill line—a redundancy measure also taken at the administration’s direction.
The graph below, produced by the Department of Energy, demonstrates the cumulative amount of oil recovered to date, combining the containment cap and the Q4000.
NIH to Conduct Research to Examine Potential Effects of BP Oil Spill on Human Health
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that $10 million will be devoted to research the potential human health effects of the oil spill. The NIH National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) will recruit clean-up workers and Gulf residents to collect biological samples, health histories, and information about the clean-up work they performed and the nature of their oil exposure.
In the near term, NIH will establish a baseline of such information, and then monitor the oil spill workers for respiratory, immunological and neurobehavioral effects. NIEHS will work with other federal partners, local communities and universities to assess and implement its research plan.
NOAA Continues to Monitor the Health of Dolphin Populations in the Gulf Coast
NOAA is working closely with its state and local partners to monitor and assess the impacts of the BP oil spill on coastal populations of bottlenose dolphins, conducting aerial and boat-based surveys to document potential changes that represent physical or behavioral signs of distress.
In response to calls from concerned citizens about distressed dolphins or dolphins found in areas impacted by the oil spill, NOAA is advising the public to report any dead, stranded, or distressed dolphins or other marine mammals to the wildlife hotline at (866) 557-1401. For more information on what to do when encountering a distressed dolphin, click here.
Federal Officials and BP Host Open House for Louisiana Residents in Lafourche Parish
As part of continued efforts to inform Louisiana residents on the BP oil spill response and available assistance, representatives of the Coast Guard, Fish and Wildlife Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, and other state and local partner agencies joined BP to host an “Open House Expo” in Lafourche Parish, La.
Experts from the various agencies participating in the BP oil spill response were on hand to discuss a variety of topics with Parish residents—including the claims process, volunteer and contracting opportunities, environmental quality, worker safety and the various tools, equipment and strategies being used in the response. Previous meetings were held in Cameron Parish, St. Bernard Parish, Iberia Parish, Jefferson Parish, St. Mary’s Parish and Orleans Parish.
Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Top $11 Million
SBA has approved 144 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $11 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 592 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $3.4 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Administration Continues to Oversee BP’s Claims Process; 100,000 Claims Filed
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, 100,699 claims have been opened, from which more than $157.5 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are 999 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, 1,559 are active.
· More than 47,800 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
· More than 6,600 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.
· More than 3 million feet of containment boom and 5.48 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 930,000 feet of containment boom and 2.27 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
· More than 28.7 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
· Approximately 1.74 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied—1.07 million on the surface and 669,000 sub-sea. Approximately 397,000 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 519 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently oiled—approximately 293 miles in Louisiana, 77 miles in Mississippi, 64 miles in Alabama, and 85 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 81,181 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, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Russia, Spain, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization, the European Union's Monitoring and Information Centre, and the European Maritime Safety Agency.
· For information about the response effort, visit www.RestoreTheGulf.gov.
· 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 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.
· 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.
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Joint Information Center
Unified Command for the BP Oil Spill | Deepwater Horizon Response