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 Provides an 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 administration-wide response to the BP oil spill. A full transcript is available here.
Admiral Allen discussed the remobilization of response vessels at the well site to resume drilling the relief wells and performing acoustic and seismic monitoring to ensure the integrity of the wellbore—no anomalies have been detected—and reported on reconnaissance flights happening today to search for oil and boom that may have been displaced during the storm.
Allen also provided a revised estimated timeline for the static kill procedure and the relief well—based on a series of recent meetings with the federal government science team, led by Energy Secretary Chu, and BP representatives in Houston.
Preparations Are Made to Resume Relief Well Drilling
After suspending operations and evacuating as a precautionary measure to protect the safety of response personnel and evade the threat of then Tropical Storm Bonnie, Development Driller II and Development Driller III have returned to the well site and are making preparations to resume drilling the relief wells. Before suspending operations, Development Driller III had drilled the first relief well to a depth of 17,864 feet below the Gulf surface and Development Driller II had drilled the second relief well—a redundancy measure taken at the direction of the administration—to a depth of 15,963 feet below the surface.
Personnel Continue Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Missions Across the Region
From the Mobile, Ala., Incident Command Post, 14 two-person teams and 19 support personnel participated in wildlife rescue and recovery missions—responding to 27 Wildlife Hotline calls.
Field operations in the Houma Command Sector were suspended to protect the safety of response personnel and allow them to move to higher ground. To report oiled wildlife, call (866) 557-1401.
Beach Clean-up Operations Continue on the Florida Coast
The National Parks Service continues to oversee clean-up operations to protect sensitive wildlife habitats in NPS lands and Fish and Wildlife Service refuges along the Gulf Coast of Florida. Field operations were temporarily suspended yesterday in Mississippi and Alabama due to the threat of severe weather from then Tropical Storm Bonnie.
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, 1,676 are active.
· Approximately 13,000 personnel* are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
· More than 3,700 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 3.41 million feet** of containment boom and 7.82 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 827,000 feet of containment boom and 2.72 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
· More than 34.8 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
· Approximately 1.84 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied—1.07 million on the surface and 771,000 sub-sea. Approximately 577,000 gallons are available.
· 411 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of more than 11.14 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 637 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently oiled—approximately 362 miles in Louisiana, 109 miles in Mississippi, 70 miles in Alabama, and 96 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 57,539 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. Approximately 76 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 Argentina, Belgium, Canada, China, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, 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.
*The decreases in personnel and equipment are a result of the temporary suspension of some response operations due to Bonnie, which has been downgraded from a tropical depression to a disorganized area of low pressure.
**Boom deployed numbers have dropped due to pre-storm recovery operations. Once recovered, this boom must be decontaminated, repaired, inspected, and certified before being staged or redeployed.
· For information about the response effort, visit
· 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.