WASHINGTON - As part of the federal government’s continued efforts to ensure that additional responsibility for BP oil spill response plans and actions is placed at the state and local levels, National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen has told BP to ensure that representatives are in place no later than July 20 alongside state and federal commanders in each affected state in order to further expedite projects and response activities to protect shoreline and recover oil.
These BP representatives must have the ability to commit BP resources for response activities. While local coordination is already occurring between federal, state and BP representatives, this will formalize and clarify these roles, and ensure they remain in place for the long term.
“Throughout this unprecedented and evolving event, we have marshaled the largest response in our nation’s history and we have continued to adapt and evolve this response at every turn as the disaster itself has unfolded. Over the past several weeks, control over federal planning and tactical operations in each state has been delegated to the Coast Guard Deputy Incident Commanders, and this authority will be exercised in coordination with their Governor-appointed state counterparts,” said Admiral Allen. “To achieve even more control over this response at the state level, a BP representative must work with the group to ensure that decisions that are made can be carried out quickly and efficiently.”
In order to achieve greater state and local response effectiveness and capability, BP’s representatives will assist both the federal Coast Guard Deputy Incident Commander and State On-Scene Coordinator in executing a number of state-specific actions—closely coordinated with local authorities—including as appropriate:
* Developing near-shore and onshore response priorities and objectives;
* Preparing state-specific elements of incident action plans;
* Directing tactical operations for assigned resources ashore or in state waters;
* Collecting, evaluating and disseminating incident information as required; and
* Directing the application of BP’s response resources.
Admiral Allen has told BP to ensure that representatives are in place no later than July 20 alongside state and federal commanders in each affected state.
The federal government is committed to working in close partnerships with state and local authorities, ensuring that they have the resources they need to meet the evolving threat from this oil spill. This has included daily outreach from top officials to Governors and local leaders, meetings and calls between the President and Admiral Allen, and dedicated federal liaison officers placed in local areas to coordinate closely with state and local governments and communicate the needs of individual communities directly to the Unified Command.
The administration continues to actively encourage participation and prioritize inclusion by local leaders as part of this historic response so that we can respond as quickly and effectively as possible to problems that arise on the ground.
The federal government also continues to lead the largest response to an environmental disaster in U.S. history, with more than 43,000 personnel and 6,400 vessels working around the clock to mitigate the impacts of the BP oil spill on the economy, the environment and public health.