The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill
Briefing for Members of Congress
Secretary Salazar, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, Administrator Jackson, DHS Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute and Admiral Allen provided a bi-partisan and bi-cameral briefing to Congress on the administration’s all-hands-on-deck response to the spill. They updated members of Congress on the status of ongoing, coordinated response efforts in the Gulf coast states and delivered an update on BP’s mitigation plans for potentially impacted Gulf Coast states.
Coordination Calls with the Gulf Coast State Governors
To ensure consistent coordination with the Gulf Coast states, Admiral Thad Allen, Secretaries Janet Napolitano and Ken Salazar, Administrator Lisa Jackson and NOAA Deputy Under Secretary Monica Medina began daily calls with the Governors from the five Gulf Coast states to provide updates on the response to the BP oil spill and answer any questions that arise. Governors Barbour, Crist, Jindal, Perry and Riley have been invited to participate in the daily calls moving forward. These daily calls are a follow up to the calls last Friday and Sunday between the Governors and the agencies involved in the federal response, as well as the calls last week between the President and the Governors and the President’s visit to the region on Sunday. These calls are intended to further the already unprecedented cooperation and focused effort between state and local officials and the federal government in response to this situation.
National Guard Activation
Secretary Gates has authorized use of Title 32 status for up to 17,500 National Guard members in four states: Alabama (3,000), Florida (2,500), Louisiana (6,000) and Mississippi (6,000).
The state of Louisiana has activated approximately 1,200 National Guard members under Title 32 for command and control and sandbagging operations in St Bernard and Plaquemines parishes. Louisiana National Guard personnel are actively manning the Joint Operations Center and Tactical Aviation Cell.
Air Quality Monitoring
EPA’s Air Quality Index (AQI) tracks levels of particulate matter and ozone along the Gulf Coast—data available publicly daily at http://www.airnow.gov and http://gulfcoast.airnowtech.org. In addition to these monitors, EPA’s emergency response teams have put up multiple monitoring stations to track larger particulate matter. The location of these monitoring stations is flexible as conditions change during this response.
Conducted the Daily Press Briefing, Daily Legislative and Intergovernmental Calls
The next in a daily series of press briefings was conducted between the Minerals Management Service (MMS), the Coast Guard, NOAA, BP and Transocean at the Joint Information Center in Robert, La., as well as daily legislative and intergovernmental calls.
By the Numbers to Date:
- Personnel were quickly deployed and approximately 7,500 are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife.
- Nearly 200 vessels are 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.
- Approximately 367,000 of feet of boom (barrier) have been deployed to contain the spill—and more than 1 million feet are available.
- More than 1 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
- Nearly 160,000 gallons of dispersant have been deployed. An additional 230,000 gallons are available.
- Nine staging areas have been set up to protect vital shoreline in all potentially affected Gulf Coast states (Biloxi, Miss., Pensacola, Fla., Pascagoula, Miss., Dauphin Island, Ala., Port Sulphur, La., Shell Beach, La., Slidell, La., Port Fourchon, La., Venice, La.).