Gulf Coast Incident Management Team finalizes Phase III Response Activities Completion Plan
NEW ORLEANS - The Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Capt. Duke Walker, announced Wednesday that he has signed the Gulf Coast Incident Management Team Phase III Response Activities Completion Plan following extensive collaborative efforts in meetings with the Department of the Interior, State On-Scene Coordinators from Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana and BP.
The National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan contains four distinct operational phases. These phases include: (I) discovery; (II) assessment and action initiation; (III) containment and cleanup; and (IV) documentation of a pollution incident.
The plan details how the GC-IMT will continue to function in order to ensure continuity of operations as the amount of personnel and equipment are adjusted to meet the needs of the response and support staff are potentially decentralized to other locations. Cleanup will continue in designated areas until it has been completed to the standards as outlined in the previously designed Shoreline Clean-up Completion Plan.
"The plan is another important step towards meeting our goal of cleaning the shoreline to the standards specified in the SCCP while managing the scale of the response to meet conditions on the ground," said Walker. "As we move forward with the plan, our top priorities remain removing oil from the environment and operating safely, efficiently and with federal oversight of BP and response operations."
The plan was developed at the direction of the FOSC and collaboratively written by the U.S. Coast Guard, all four Gulf States, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Interior, and BP. Under the plan, BP will continue oil spill removal activities as prescribed in the SCCP and will remain operational on the Gulf Coast under the oversight of the Coast Guard’s Federal On-Scene Coordinator. As FOSC, Capt. Walker continues consultation with all State On-Scene Coordinators and Federal Trustees, such as DOI and NOAA.
"The Deepwater Horizon oil spill cleanup effort will continue until all the oil that can be removed without further damaging the environment is removed, creating the conditions for continued restoration work," said Walker. “Essentially, the Phase III Response Activities Completion Plan is our roadmap to guide GC-IMT activities from this point through the completion of cleanup operations.”
Additional information on the Phase III Activities Completion Plan and SCCP can be found at www.restorethegulf.gov.