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
“Capping Stack” Procedure Continues, Skimming Operations Double at Well Site
At the Administration’s direction, BP continues its “capping stack” procedure—designed to capture even greater quantities of oil than the current “top hat” system. In anticipation of increased oil flow following the removal of the top hat containment device, skimmers were surged to the well site—allowing crews to take advantage of good weather conditions and skim an estimated 25,500 barrels of oily water, double the amount collected the previous day.
Currently, 46 skimmers are operating in the vicinity of the well, in addition to more than 570 skimmers deployed to protect coastlines as part of the largest oil spill response in U.S. history.
BP also is in the process of connecting a 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.
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.
Successful Controlled Burn
Favorable weather conditions allowed responders to conduct a successful controlled burn operation for the third consecutive day. 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. To date, more than 10.3 million gallons of oil have been removed from the water by controlled burns.
Personnel Continue Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Missions Across the Region
From the Houma, La., Incident Command Post, a total of 240 personnel, 82 vessels, and five helicopters participated in reconnaissance and wildlife rescue and recovery missions. The Wildlife Hotline received 79 reports of oiled/injured birds, four oiled/injured fish, four oiled/injured reptiles, and four oiled/injured mammals.
From the Mobile, Ala., Incident Command Post, 27 two-person teams, 17 support personnel and 12 boats participated in reconnaissance and wildlife rescue and recovery missions. 48 calls were received on the Wildlife Hotline.
Progress Continues in Drilling Relief Wells
The drilling of relief wells continues. The Development Driller III has drilled the first relief well to a depth of 17,810 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 15,900 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.
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, 104,661 claims have been opened, from which more than $165.1 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, 1,545 are active.
· More than 46,200 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
· More than 6,400 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 3.11 million feet of containment boom and 6.01 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 834,000 feet of containment boom and 2.53 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
· More than 30.25 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
· Approximately 1.78 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied—1.07 million on the surface and 706,000 sub-sea. Approximately 469,000 gallons are available.
· 315 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of approximately 10.3 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 541 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently oiled—approximately 302 miles in Louisiana, 97 miles in Mississippi, 65 miles in Alabama, and 77 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 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.