The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill
UPDATED August 25, 2010 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 reported on the sequence of events leading up to the removal of the blowout preventer: “Our steps right now will be to remove the two pieces of pipe that we know are just laying there disconnected. And then following that ascertain the condition of the remaining pipe that goes to the blowout preventer,” he said. “And once we have diagnosed the condition of that pipe, well make a decision whether or not to remove the pipe itself or remove the blowout preventer with the pipe attached.”
Administration Launches Dockside Chats to Promote Gulf Seafood Safety Awareness
In order to promote accurate information about the safety of Gulf seafood from waters open to fishing, the Obama administration announced the deployment of senior officials to the Gulf Coast to participate in a series of eight dockside “chats” in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida Panhandle communities—in coordination with state governments—designed to engage fishers, shrimpers, oystermen and crabbers, as well as local officials in discussions about steps being taken to verify the safety of Gulf seafood.
Each of the participating state and federal agencies plays a vital role in the government-wide effort to manage fisheries, test and monitor seafood, regulate the seafood industry and test environmental factors related to seafood, such as water and air. Click here for more information.
Unified Area Command Continues to Expand Techniques for Sub-Surface Monitoring
As part of the ongoing effort to apply the best scientific tools available in response to the BP oil spill, the Unified Area Command continues to expand monitoring techniques and programs to determine the presence of sub-surface oil in the coastal waters of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.
Techniques and methods currently employed in near-shore waters include snare boom, trawling for floating tar balls and oiled debris, “flourometers” that shine fluorescent light through the water, and various devices that can take water and sediment samples. Click here for more information.
FWS Personnel Continue Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Missions Across the Region
From the Houma, La., Incident Command Post, 241 field personnel, 71 vessels, two helicopters and one airplane participated in reconnaissance and wildlife rescue and recovery missions, responding to 72 calls on the Wildlife Hot line. From the Mobile, Ala., Incident Command Post, 15 two-person teams, 19 vessels and one helicopter participated in reconnaissance and wildlife rescue and recovery missions, responding to 39 calls. To report oiled wildlife, call (866) 557-1401.
Shoreline Cleanup Operations Continue Along the Gulf Coast
As part of continued efforts to protect wildlife and wildlife habitats from the impacts of the BP oil spill, FWS and National Parks Service cleanup crews continued shoreline cleanup operations at Gulf Islands National Seashore and at FWS refuges—removing oil debris from Bon Secour (200 lbs), Dauphin Island (500 lbs), Ivan’s Cut (500 lbs), Fort Pickens (3,630 lbs), Perdido (291 lbs), Santa Rosa (182 lbs).
Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Surpass $23.5 Million
SBA has approved 269 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $23.5 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 848 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $4.6 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 email@example.com.
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, 1,157 are active.
- More than 29,800 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
- More than 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.
- Approximately 1.96 million feet of containment boom* and 9.08 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 2.12 million feet of containment boom and 3.49 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 132 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently experiencing moderate to heavy oil impacts—approximately 115 miles in Louisiana, 11 miles in Mississippi, 3 miles in Alabama, and 3 miles in Florida. Approximately 524 miles of shoreline are experiencing light to trace oil impacts—approximately 235 miles in Louisiana, 98 miles in Mississippi, 66 miles in Alabama, and 125 miles in Florida. These numbers reflect a daily snapshot 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 52,395 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. Approximately 78 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 decrease in boom numbers is due to the continued recovery of displaced boom. Once recovered, this boom must be decontaminated, repaired, inspected, and certified before being staged or redeployed. New boom is being deployed in some areas.