Unified Command Joint Information Center
Thursday, July 29, 2010
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 provided an update on ongoing cleanup operations and the progress of preparations for the static kill procedure and relief well drilling, and reported on his meeting today with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and the Parish Presidents. He described a “frank, open, productive meeting” and discussed three areas of agreement that were reached:
- A set of principles and protocols on how to proceed with an assessment of when oil cleanup has been completed, which in collaboration with the parishes and the state will drive resource and organizational decisions;
- More granularity on hurricane and storm plans, to ensure an appropriate and efficient evacuation of personnel and equipment; and
- An evaluation of the Vessels of Opportunity program, which included finding new work opportunities to meet the needs of an evolving response and helping out-of-work fisherman with the claims process.
Drilling of the Relief Well Continues
Development Driller III is preparing to lay the casing line, a necessary step before beginning the static kill procedure, which involves pumping mud and cement in through the top of the well. Development Driller II is conducting maintenance and will hold operations and await results of the DDIII relief well. Development Driller III has drilled the first relief well to a depth of 17,864 feet below the Gulf surface and Development Driller II has 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.
Seismic and Acoustic Testing Continue to Ensure the Integrity of the Wellhead
In order to ensure the integrity of the wellhead and search for and respond to anomalies, the research vessel Geco Topaz is conducting seismic surveys of the seafloor around the wellhead, and the NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter is conducting acoustic surveys—part of continued efforts to use the best scientific tools available in response to the BP oil spill. As of this morning, the pressure continues to rise, demonstrating that it has integrity, and is currently at 6,951 pounds per square inch.
FWS Personnel Continue Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Missions Across the Region
From the Houma, La., Incident Command Post, 256 field personnel, 82 vessels and 2 helicopters participated in reconnaissance and wildlife rescue and recovery missions. From the Mobile, Ala., Incident Command Post, 28 two-person wildlife recovery teams and 21 support personnel and 18 vessels participated in wildlife recovery operations and received 34 calls on the Wildlife Hotline. To report oiled wildlife, call (866) 557-1401.
Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Surpass $17.3 Million
SBA has approved 201 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $17.3 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 707 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $3.7 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; More than $250 Million Disbursed
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, 135,217 claims have been opened, from which more than $258 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are 1,267 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, 1,708 are active.
- More than 33,200 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
- Approximately 4,400 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 3.48 million feet of containment boom and 7.88 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 935,000 feet of containment boom and 2.92 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
- More than 34.7 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 625 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently oiled—approximately 359 miles in Louisiana, 105 miles in Mississippi, 65 miles in Alabama, and 93 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.
- 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.
- 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.