Update: The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill
Prepared by the Joint Information Center
UPDATED May 12, 2010, 6 PM
* For a full timeline of the Administration-wide response, visit the White House Blog.
PAST 24 HOURSThe President Introduces Legislation to Enhance the Response
As part of the administration’s commitment to pursue full compensation for damages from BP and other responsible parties, the President sent a legislative package to Congress that will enable the Deepwater BP Oil Spill response to continue expeditiously, speed assistance to people affected by this spill, and strengthen and update the oil spill liability system to better address catastrophic events.
While the President’s proposal will ask for additional funds in some cases, the federal government will not relent in pursuing full compensation for the expenses it has incurred, and for damage caused by the spill. The President has been clear from the beginning: his Administration will not rest until the leak is contained and cleaned up. To learn more about the President’s proposed legislation, please visit this site: Fact Sheet: Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Legislative Package.
Top Officials Spearhead Efforts to Find Innovative Solutions to Plug Leak
At the request of the President, Secretary Salazar and Secretary Chu traveled to Houston to participate in meetings with DOE and national lab staff, industry officials and other engineers and scientists involved in finding solutions to cap the flow of oil and contain the spill. Secretary Salazar and Secretary Chu conferred at the BP Command Center in Houston with teams of federal and industry scientists and engineers who are using cutting-edge technological resources and innovative ideas to find solutions to containing the oil spill and protecting Gulf Coast communities.
Town Hall Meeting Held with Minority Business Owners
The Minority Business Development Agency and the Asian Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana hosted a town hall meeting with Vietnamese community-based organizations and local business development organizations; the Small Business Administration Disaster Relief Team; and others, to share information with fisherman, shrimpers and crew members and discuss their rights and privileges as minority business owners in regards to the oil spill.
Top Oceans and Atmosphere Official is Sworn In and Immediately Deployed to Gulf
Dr. Larry Robinson was sworn in this week as assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere at NOAA, and has already arrived on the Gulf Coast. He conducted an over flight of the oil spill area and received operational updates at the Robert, La., Incident Command Center, NOAA’s National Weather Service office in Slidell, La., and was briefed on NOAA’s seafood inspection efforts in Mississippi.
Secretary Salazar Dispatches National Parks Superintendent
Superintendent Kimball, a 24-year veteran of the National Park Service, is joining other members of Interior’s senior leadership team dispatched over the last two weeks to command centers along the Gulf coast. Kimball is among the more than 410 DOI personnel who have been deployed as part of the oil spill response.
Community Town Hall Held in Ocean Springs, Miss.Today, representatives from Coast Guard, EPA, NOAA, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Labor, the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry and BP participated in a town hall meeting in Ocean Springs, Mississippi to provide an update on the response to Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill and continue the dialogue with members of the community, local business leaders and other organizations.
Oversight Continues of BP’s Containment EffortsMMS reports that significant progress has been made by BP on the construction of the “top hat” containment system. The “top hat” has been placed on the seabed and the Drill Ship Enterprise is constructing and lowering the riser piping that will bring the captured oil to the surface. MMS also reports that the drill ship drilling the second relief well is en route to the drill site to begin drilling preparations. Gas and oil production from the Gulf of Mexico remains near normal with few adverse impacts to other operators from the oil spill
Bottlenose Dolphin Studies ConductedNOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and NOAA Fisheries Southeast Fisheries Science Center are conducting bottlenose dolphin studies in Mississippi and Louisiana. The samples will be used to evaluate baseline levels of exposure to oil and other environmental contaminants. The team will be working near Grand Isle, La., and in Mississippi Sound.
NOAA Continues to Provide State-of-the-Art ModelingNOAA Air Resources Laboratory is providing its HYSPLIT forecast air dispersion model—a model that projects the trajectory of airborne particles—to support National Weather Service smoke forecasts from controlled burn operations.
NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center is providing coastal digital elevation models (DEMs) for the Gulf area. DEMs use coastal sea floor depth and land elevation data which then provides information about the likely movement of the ocean as it approaches the coastal area.
By the Numbers to Date:
- Personnel were quickly deployed and approximately 13,000 are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife.
- More than 510 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.
- Approximately 1.5 million feet of boom (regular and sorbent) have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 1.5 million feet are available.
- Approximately 4 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
- Approximately 436,000 gallons of dispersant have been deployed. More than 120,000 gallons are available.
14 staging areas have been set up to protect vital shoreline in all potentially affected Gulf Coast states (Biloxi, Miss., Pascagoula, Miss., Pensacola, Fla., Panama City, Fla., Dauphin Island, Ala., Grand Isle, La., Shell Beach, La., Slidell, La., Venice, La., Orange Beach, Ala., Theodore, Ala., Pass Christian, Miss., Amelia, La., and Cocodrie, La.).Resources:
- For information about the response effort, visit www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.
- For specific information about the federal-wide response, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/deepwater-bp-oil-spill.
- To contact the Deepwater Horizon Joint Information Center, call (985) 902-5231.
- To volunteer, or to report oiled shoreline, call (866) 448-5816. Volunteer opportunities can also be found here.
- To submit your vessel as a vessel of opportunity skimming system, or to submit alternative response technology, services, or products, call 281-366-5511.
- To report oiled wildlife, call (866) 557-1401. Messages will be checked hourly.
- For information about validated environmental air and water sampling results, visit www.epa.gov/bpspill.
- For National Park Service updates about potential park closures, resources at risk, and NPS actions to protect vital park space and wildlife, visit http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/oil-spill-response.htm.
- For daily updates on fishing closures, visit http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov.
- To file a claim, or report spill-related damage, call BP’s helpline at (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 (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.
Assets to Date:
Total response vessels: more than 290
Boom deployed: more than 1 million feet (regular plus sorbent boom)
Boom available: more than 1.4 million feet (regular plus sorbent boom)
Oily water recovered: approximately 3.6 million gallons
Dispersant used: approximately 372,000 gallons
Dispersant available: more than 180,000 gallons
Overall personnel responding: approximately 10,000
For information about the response effort, visit www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.