The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill
UPDATED May 10, 2010 7 PM
* For a full timeline of the Administration-wide response, visit the White House Blog.
PAST 24 HOURS
The President Meets with Cabinet Members in the Situation Room
President Obama met with a number of Cabinet members and senior staff in the White House Situation Room to review BP’s efforts to stop the oil leak as well as to decide on next steps to ensure all is being done to contain the spread, mitigate the environmental impact and provide assistance to affected states, including individuals, businesses, and communities.
The President asked Secretary Chu to lead a team of top administration officials and government scientists to Houston this week for an extensive dialogue with BP officials to continue to aggressively pursue potential solutions.
In addition, to deal more generally with the harms created by oil spills, the President has requested that legislation be sent to Congress to toughen and update the law surrounding caps on damages.
EPA Administrator Jackson Returns to the Gulf Coast
Administrator Jackson made another visit to the Gulf region to oversee efforts to mitigate the environmental and human health impact of the ongoing BP oil spill—visiting Baton Rouge, La., to receive a briefing by Louisiana State University scientists; and Robert, La., to receive a briefing by federal agency scientists.
Secretary Salazar Dispatches Top Land Management Official
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced today that Director of the Bureau of Land Management Robert Abbey has been dispatched to the Gulf Coast to support ongoing response efforts to the BP Deepwater oil spill.
Navy Supports Skimming Operations
The U.S. Navy is providing assistance in the areas of skimming and salvage operations—including 16 Modular Skimming Systems deployed to Gulfport, Miss. 1,400 total associated Department of Defense personnel have been deployed in support of spill cleanup and mitigation.
New Staging Location Opens in Amelia, La.
14 staging areas have been set up to protect vital shoreline in all potentially affected Gulf Coast states (Biloxi, Miss., Pascagoula, Miss., Pensacola, Fla., Panama City, Fla., Dauphin Island, Ala., Grand Isle, La., Shell Beach, La., Slidell, La., Venice, La., Orange Beach, Al., Theodore, Al., Pass Christian, Ms., Amelia, La., and Cocodrie, La.).
Property Damage Claims Processed
BP reports that 5,710 property damage claims have been opened, from which $2.4 million has been disbursed. No claims have been denied at this time. Approximately 60 operators are answering phones, and average wait time is currently less than a minute. To file a claim, or report spill-related damage, call BP’s helpline at (800) 440-0858. For 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.
NOAA Conducts Research and Evaluation
NOAA Research is evaluating the information obtained from the NOAA P-3 (hurricane hunter) aircraft flight over the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current on May 8.
Lessons Learned from Exxon Valdez Examined
Alaska and Louisiana Sea Grant personnel are meeting regularly with Alaska Oil Spill Responders to explore lessons learned from the Exxon Valdez incident and possible applications to the Deepwater Horizon. NOAA’s Sea Grant is a university-based network of more than 3,000 scientists, engineers and educators.
Fish & Wildlife Field Crews Respond
Eight field crews have been deployed from the Dennis Pass Wildlife Staging Area to observe the impact on wildlife due to the spill. Wildlife search and capture teams conducted boat operations from the Lake Borgne to the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River and west to Cameron, La. Four helicopters conducted aerial surveys to observe wildlife and determine if rescue operations are needed in potentially affected areas.
Water and Sediment is Sampled
The U.S. Geological Survey completed water and sediment sampling at 16 sites along coastal Alabama and Mississippi. USGS is preparing for sampling in Texas and Florida, and also for sea-grass bed surveys.
Plans Begin for Bioremediation
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is assessing the capabilities of Plant Materials Centers and asking commercial growers to ramp up plant propagation efforts for potential future bioremediation efforts.
Aerial Dispersant Spray Missions Flown
Modular Aerial Spray System (MASS) aircraft flew multiple missions—dispensing the same dispersant chemical being used by BP and the federal responders. These systems are capable of covering up to 250 acres per flight.
By the Numbers to Date:
- Personnel were quickly deployed and approximately 10,000 are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife.
- More than 290 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.
- More than 1 million feet of boom (regular and sorbent) have been deployed to contain the spill—and more than 1.3 million feet are available.
- Nearly 3.5 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
- Approximately 325,000 gallons of dispersant have been deployed. More than 500,000 gallons are available.
- 14 staging areas have been set up to protect vital shoreline in all potentially affected Gulf Coast states (Biloxi, Miss., Pascagoula, Miss., Pensacola, Fla., Panama City, Fla., Dauphin Island, Ala., Grand Isle, La., Shell Beach, La., Slidell, La., Venice, La., Orange Beach, Al., Theodore, Al., Pass Christian, Ms., Amelia, La., and Cocodrie, La.).