Kensdock Report: Gulf oil spill update

In the Past 24 Hours:
Ø        The President has dispatched the secretaries of Commerce, Interior and Homeland Security, as well as the NOAA Administrator, to return to the Gulf Coast this week. Specific details on their travel will come from their departments and agencies, but collectively they will be inspecting the ongoing, coordinated response efforts to mitigate the impact of the spill on public health, the environment and the economy. They will meet with business owners to discuss potential economic impacts of this spill across the Gulf Coast region.

Ø        Secretary Salazar, Secretary Napolitano, EPA Administrator Jackson and other members of the Obama administration today met with BP CEO Tony Hayward and BP America Chairman and President Lamar McKay at the Department of the Interior to discuss ongoing, coordinated response efforts and receive an update on BP’s mitigation plans for potentially impacted Gulf Coast states. This is the most recent in a series of meetings that have taken place between administration leadership and BP leadership.

Ø        Response crews continue to test a new technique to break up the oil before it reaches the surface—a remotely operated underwater vehicle dispensing sub-surface dispersant at a rate of nine gallons per minute—with encouraging results so far. Nearly 3,000 gallons of subsea dispersants were applied, and BP and NOAA continue to evaluate these tests to determine the feasibility of continued use of subsea dispersants.

Ø        More than 2,000 volunteers have been trained to assist in the response effort to date. Volunteer recruitment efforts include outreach to local fishermen with boats, which can be used as vessels of opportunity to assist contractors in deploying boom.

Ø        Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels visited Louisiana with a team of experienced hazardous materials professionals leading an effort to ensure that oil spill cleanup workers receive necessary protections from the hazards of this work. OSHA is consulting with BP, as well as federal agency partners, to ensure that workers receive appropriate training and protective equipment.

Ø        Nine staging areas are now 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.).

Ø        BP is now accepting claims for the Gulf Coast oil spill. Please call BP’s helpline at 1-800-440-0858. A BP fact sheet with additional information is available here. For those who have already pursued the BP claims process and are not satisfied with BP’s resolution, can call the Coast Guard at 1-800-280-7118. More information about what types of damages are eligible for compensation under the Oil Pollution Act as well as guidance on procedures to seek that compensation can be found here.  

By the Numbers to Date:
Ø        Personnel were quickly deployed and approximately 3,000 are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife.

Ø        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.

Ø        Hundreds of thousands of feet of boom (barrier) have been deployed to contain the spill—nearly 700,000 feet are available.

Ø        More than 1 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.

Ø        More than 156,000 gallons of dispersant have been deployed. An additional 230,000 gallons are available.

Ø        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.).

Ø        More than 2,000 volunteers have been trained to assist in the response effort to date.

Response Actions:
Ø        The response to the BP Oil Spill began as an emergency search and rescue mission conducted and supported by the U.S. Coast Guard, the Navy and other partners on April 20. 126 people were on the rig when the incident occurred. 11 remain unaccounted for; 17 were injured, 3 of them critically.

Ø        The President immediately began actively monitoring the incident, and held a meeting in the Oval Office on April 22 with senior officials to discuss the situation and ongoing response. The President has been in contact with all the governors of the states that may be affected and ordered that the administration use every single available resource at our disposal.

Ø        Concurrently, command center operations were stood up immediately in the Gulf Coast to begin also addressing the environmental impact of the incident and coordinate with all state and local governments.

Ø        The morning after the explosion, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar deployed Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes down to the gulf to assist with coordination and response to the incident.

Ø        When the drill unit sank, the Administration immediately and intensely investigated by remotely operated vehicles the entire 5,000 feet of pipe that’s on the floor of the ocean. In that process three leaks were identified, the most recent coming on the evening of April 28.

Ø        The Administration immediately began holding regular calls with BP leadership and numerous senior-level meetings have been held between the administration and BP to discuss BP’s response effort and federal oversight and support.

Ø        The National Response Team (NRT), an organization of 16 federal departments and agencies responsible for coordinating emergency preparedness and response to oil and hazardous substance pollution incidents was quickly activated and a coordinated group of federal partners-including the United States Coast Guard, Departments of Homeland Security, Commerce, Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency-immediately began directing and overseeing BP’s response.

Ø        The President dispatched Secretary Napolitano, Secretary Salazar, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Policy Carol Browner and NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco to the Gulf Coast to ensure all is being done to respond to this oil spill.

Ø        EPA posted on its dedicated response website the first air monitoring data it has collected in the area—with no red flags at this time.

Ø        President Obama visited the Gulf Coast to inspect response operations firsthand, underscoring the administration’s all-hands-on-deck response to protect the coastline of the Gulf states. He was accompanied by Assistant to the President for Homeland Security John Brennan and Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Policy Carol Browner.

Ø        NOAA is restricting fishing for a minimum of ten days in federal waters most affected by the BP oil spill, largely between Louisiana state waters at the mouth of the Mississippi River to waters off Florida’s Pensacola Bay. The closure is effective immediately. This order balances economic and health concerns and only closes those areas affected by oil. Details can be found here.

Ø        BP is now accepting claims for the Gulf Coast oil spill. Please call BP’s helpline at 1-800-440-0858. A BP fact sheet with additional information is available here. For those who have already pursued the BP claims process and are not satisfied with BP’s resolution, can call the Coast Guard at 1-800-280-7118. More information about what types of damages are eligible for compensation under the Oil Pollution Act as well as guidance on procedures to seek that compensation can be found here.  

Ø        Secretaries Janet Napolitano and Ken Salazar spoke by conference call to Governors Haley Barbour (MS), Bob Riley (AL), Rick Perry (TX), Charlie Crist (FL) and the Deputy Chief of Staff to Gov. Bobby Jindal (LA). Gov. Jindal was with President Obama. They briefed the Governors on the ongoing response to the BP oil spill in the gulf. They spoke specifically about efforts to stop the oil leaks and mitigating the oil’s impact on the shorelines of their states. Additionally, they spoke about ways to enhance what has been strong cooperation between the federal government and the states. The Secretaries and Governors agreed to speak again on May 4.

Ø        BP has indicated it will reimburse volunteers at the rate of $10 per hour. Contractors are also hiring people to support shoreline clean up. Contractor rates go as high as $18 per hour for supervisors.

Ø        The President has dispatched the secretaries of Commerce, Interior and Homeland Security, as well as the NOAA Administrator, to return to the Gulf Coast this week. Specific details on their travel will come from their departments and agencies, but collectively they will be inspecting the ongoing, coordinated response efforts, the impact of the spill on wildlife and the environment, and meeting with business owners to discuss potential economic impacts of this spill across the Gulf Coast region.

Ø        Secretary Salazar, Secretary Napolitano, EPA Administrator Jackson and other members of the Obama administration today met with BP CEO Tony Hayward and BP America Chairman and President Lamar McKay at the Department of the Interior to discuss ongoing, coordinated response efforts and receive an update on BP’s mitigation plans for potentially impacted Gulf Coast states. This is the most recent in a series of meetings that have taken place between administration leadership and BP leadership.

Ø        Response crews continue to test a new technique to break up the oil before it reaches the surface—a remotely operated underwater vehicle dispensing sub-surface dispersant at a rate of nine gallons per minute—with encouraging results so far. Nearly 3,000 gallons of subsea dispersants were applied, and BP and NOAA continue to evaluate these tests to determine the feasibility of continued use of subsea dispersants.

Ø        More than 2,000 volunteers have been trained to assist in the response effort to date. Volunteer recruitment efforts include outreach to local fishermen with boats, which can be used as vessels of opportunity to assist contractors in deploying boom.

Ø        Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels visited Louisiana with a team of experienced hazardous materials professionals leading an effort to ensure that oil spill cleanup workers receive necessary protections from the hazards of this work. OSHA is consulting with BP, as well as federal agency partners, to ensure that workers receive appropriate training and protective equipment.

Websites and Hotlines:

Ø        For information about the response effort, visit www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.

Ø        To volunteer, call 1-866-448-5816.

Ø        To report oiled wildlife, call 1-866-557-1401. Messages will be checked hourly.

Ø        To report spill related damage, please call 1-800-440-0858.  

Ø        For information about validated environmental air and water sampling results, visit www.epa.gov/bpspill.

Ø        To file a claim, call BP’s helpline at 1-800-440-0858. A BP fact sheet with additional information is available here. For those who have already pursued the BP claims process and are not satisfied with BP’s resolution, can call the Coast Guard at 1-800-280-7118.  More information about what types of damages are eligible for compensation under the Oil Pollution Act as well as guidance on procedures to seek that compensation can be found here.  

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: