Skip NavigationAn Official Website of the United States Government

The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill

The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill

Prepared by the Joint Information Center

UPDATED September 2, 2010 7 PM

* For a full timeline of the Administration-wide response, visit the White House Blog.

PAST 24 HOURS

Capping Stack Successfully Removed

National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen released the following statement on the successful removal of the capping stack: "Under the direction of the federal science team and U.S. government engineers, BP has completed the capping stack removal procedure – an important step in the process to remove and preserve the damaged BOP. This procedure was undertaken in accordance with specific conditions I set forth in a directive authorizing the capping stack removal and BOP replacement last week. BP will continue to follow these required conditions for the BOP removal procedure, which is expected to commence this evening. I will continue to provide updates as necessary."

NOAA Re-Opens More than 5,000 Square Miles of Closed Gulf Fishing Area; Approximately 82 percent of Federal Waters Remains Open

NOAA reopened 5,130 square miles of Gulf waters stretching from the far eastern coast of Louisiana, through Mississippi, Alabama, and the western Florida panhandle. The reopening was announced after consultation with FDA and under a re-opening protocol agreed to by NOAA, the FDA, and the Gulf states. The closed area now measures 43,000 square miles—or 18 percent of the federal waters in the Gulf, which was 37 percent at its height.

Between July 27 and August 11, 2010, NOAA sampled the area for both shrimp and finfish, including mackerel and snapper. Sensory analyses of 123 samples and chemical analyses of 183 specimens that were composited into 27 samples followed the methodology and procedures in the re-opening protocol, with sensory analysis finding no detectable oil or dispersant odors or flavors, and results of chemical analysis well below the levels of concern. NOAA will continue to take samples for testing from the newly re-opened area. The agency also implemented dockside sampling to test fish caught throughout the Gulf by commercial fishermen.

Federal Scientists Meet with Gulf Coast Academic Scientists to Refine Subsurface Oil Monitoring Plans

As part of the continued effort to engage the best scientific minds in this response, federal scientists held the last in a series of three meetings held this week with the Gulf Coast academic and scientific community on subsurface oil monitoring plans.

Under Admiral Allen’s direction, a comprehensive plan is being developed to evaluate the distribution and degradation of oil and dispersants in the near shore and offshore waters and sediments of the Gulf of Mexico. This week’s meetings provided a forum to discuss the goals, strategies and implementation of this plan with the academic and private research community and seek their input. 

Dozens of Sea Turtle Hatchlings Released Along Florida’s East Coast

As part of continued efforts to protect Gulf Coast wildlife and wildlife habitats, 24 threatened and endangered sea turtle hatchlings were released on a remote beach along Florida’s central Atlantic Coast—bringing the total number of hatchings to complete their incubation and be released to 14,440. 

Scientists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Parks Service, NOAA, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, devised the rescue plan to prevent the hatchlings from encountering oil as they entered the Gulf of Mexico. Sea turtle conservation groups were also consulted, and FedEx transported the eggs 500-plus miles per run with minimal vibration and close temperature control. The relocation effort was suspended two weeks ago.

FWS Personnel Continue Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Missions Across the Region

From Houma, La., Incident Command Post, 192 personnel, 55 vessels and two helicopters have been deployed for reconnaissance and recovery operations, responding to 98 calls on the Wildlife Hot Line. From the Mobile, Ala., Incident Command Post, 21 two-person teams, 12 vessels participated in reconnaissance and wildlife rescue and recovery missions, responding to 38 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 Horn Island (2,863 lbs) and Perdido Beach (2,740 lbs).

Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Surpass $25 Million

SBA has approved 289 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $25 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 897 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $5 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 disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Independent Gulf Coast Claims Facility Disbursements Surpass $24 Million

Since the BP oil spill response began, the administration has worked to hold the responsible parties accountable for repairing the damage, and repaying Americans who have suffered a financial loss—first by directing BP to improve its claims process and then by establishing the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), the independent agency administered by Kenneth Feinberg which was formed in June as part of an agreement between the Obama Administration and BP.

To date, 38,547 claims have been opened through the GCCF, from which more than $24 million have been disbursed—in addition to the more than 150,000 claims filed and $395 million disbursed through the BP claims process. For information on how to file a claim, visit the Gulf Coast Claims Facility Web site. Additional information about the 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, 1,079 are active.
  • More than 28,400 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
  • More than 4,050 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 1.72 million feet of containment boom* and 9.32 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 2.54 million feet of containment boom and 2.79 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 122 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently experiencing moderate to heavy oil impacts—approximately 107 miles in Louisiana, 10 miles in Mississippi, 3 miles in Alabama, and 2 miles in Florida. Approximately 495 miles of shoreline are experiencing light to trace oil impacts—approximately 230 miles in Louisiana, 90 miles in Mississippi, 64 miles in Alabama, and 111 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 43,000 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. Approximately 82 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.   


###