The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill
Prepared by the Joint Information Center
UPDATED September 15, 2010 7 PM
* For a full timeline of the Administration-wide response, visit the White House Blog.
PAST 24 HOURS
Admiral Allen and NOAA Administrator Lubchenco Provide an Update on the BP Oil Spill Response
At the Louisiana Fish House, a seafood processing plant in Kenner, La., National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen and NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco provided a briefing to inform the American public and answer questions on the administration-wide response to the BP oil spill, specifically on the efforts to engage the brightest scientific minds in the federal government’s subsea oil monitoring program. A full transcript is available here.
“As an academic more than 35 years I can attest to the importance of what academic institutions and independent research institutions bring to an effort like this. We really do need the best scientists in the country focusing on understanding that has already happened, what the impact is and how to guide our actions bring the Gulf back to health,” Dr. Lubchenco said.
“Although Im the administrator of NOAA here today I can also say that the entire federal family is deeply committed to understanding the impact of this spill on the health of the Gulf and the millions of people who depend on it for their lives and livelihood,” she added. “Its been 62 days now since oil has stopped flowing into the Gulf but our federal response remains vigilant in its effort to recover oil, to clean up beaches and marshes and to rehabilitate wildlife.”
FWS Releases Preliminary Report on Birds Captured and Collected During Spill
Based on a rigorous review of previously released preliminary data by a team of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists, FWS has compiled an expanded report of the birds rescued and collected during the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill—including a species-by-species breakdown and maps of where the birds were collected.
Ensuring accurate, scientifically valid information that describes bird impacts from this incident will be an important part of the government’s overall Natural Resource Damage Assessment. The assessment is designed to quantify the full magnitude of the injuries to natural resources from the spill, including lost uses of those resources.
FWS Personnel Continue Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Missions Across the Region
From Houma, La., Incident Command Post, 119 personnel and 32 vessels have been deployed for reconnaissance and recovery operations, responding to 25 calls on the Wildlife Hot Line. From the Mobile, Ala., Incident Command Post, 11 two-person teams and six vessels participated in reconnaissance and wildlife rescue and recovery missions, responding to 20 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 Cat Island (520 lbs), Fort Pickens (5,191 lbs), Horn Island (11,060 lbs), Ivan’s Cut (1,350 lbs), Perdido (2,751 lbs), Perdue Beach (1,800 lbs), Petit Bois Island (1,550 lbs), and Santa Rosa (1,494).
Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Surpass $27 Million
SBA has approved 311 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $27 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 931 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $5.2 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Independent Gulf Coast Claims Facility Disbursements Surpass $151 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, 60,238 claims have been opened through the GCCF, from which more than $151 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, 1,001 are active.
- Approximately 25,900 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
- More than 2,700 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 714,000 feet of containment boom* and 9.65 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 3.02 million feet of containment boom and 2.4 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.
- 15 staging areas are in place to protect sensitive shorelines.
- Approximately 112 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently experiencing moderate to heavy oil impacts—approximately 101 miles in Louisiana, 9 miles in Mississippi and 2 miles in Florida. Approximately 493 miles of shoreline are experiencing light to trace oil impacts—approximately 231 miles in Louisiana, 88 miles in Mississippi, 59 miles in Alabama, and 115 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 39,885 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. Approximately 83 percent is now 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.