Update: The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill
Prepared by the Joint Information Center
UPDATED May 14, 2010, 7 PM
* For a full timeline of the Administration-wide response, visit the White House Blog.
PAST 24 HOURSPresident Obama Holds Principals Meeting and Updates Public on Response\
The President met with members of his Cabinet and other senior administration officials to determine next steps in the ongoing effort to stop the BP oil spill, contain its spread, and help affected communities. He also provided an update to the American people—stressing the seriousness and urgency of the situation by stating that he will not be satisfied until the leak is stopped at the source, the oil in the Gulf is contained and cleaned up, and the people of the Gulf are able to go back to their lives and their livelihoods.
The President emphasized that the administration-wide mobilization and response efforts have always been geared toward the possibility of a catastrophic event, no matter how large the leak. He stressed that every available resource is being used to stop the oil from coming ashore. The President also asked for prompt action on the legislation sent to Congress that would provide additional resources to mitigate the damage caused by the spill, help with cleanup efforts, provide unemployment assistance and job training to folks whose jobs are affected by this crisis, and help with the region’s economic recovery.
In addition, the President announced that there will now be a new examination of the environmental procedures for oil and gas exploration and development and reaffirmed his commitment to putting in place every necessary safeguard and protection to ensure that a tragedy like this does not happen again—a responsibility shared by all parties involved, including the oil companies, the equipment manufacturers, and the federal government. He asserted that Gulf Coast residents deserve nothing less than for the federal government to do whatever is necessary to stop the spill, prevent further damage and ensure all who have already been harmed are compensated.
Review is Launched to Examine Environmental Procedures of Oil and Gas ExplorationThe Council on Environmental Quality and the Department of the Interior announced a review of the National Environmental Policy Act procedures for the Minerals Management Service (MMS), the bureau in DOI that manages the nation’s natural gas, oil and other mineral resources on the outer continental shelf (OCS). The review will examine the MMS NEPA procedures for OCS oil and gas exploration and development
Coast Guard and BP Officials Brief Local Elected OfficialsOfficials from the U.S. Coast Guard and BP briefed local elected officials from Mobile County and Baldwin County, Ala., on shore cleanup plans.
Admiral Allen Meets with Local RespondersNational Incident Commander and Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen met with local responders—bouy tenders and Shoreline Cleanup Assessment (SCAT) Teams—at staging areas in Dauphin Island, Ala. and Biloxi, Miss.
DOD Aircraft Conduct Dispersant Spray MissionsThe Department of Defense’s Modular Aerial Spray System (MASS) aircraft flew multiple missions—dispensing the same dispersant chemicals being used by BP and federal responders. These systems are capable of covering up to 250 acres per flight, and flights are coordinated with the EPA and the State of Louisiana to ensure all environmental concerns are addressed.
DOD Supply Transport CompletedThe transport of 150,000 feet of BP pollution response boom and approximately 250 short tons of Navy salvage equipment from Anchorage, Alaska, to the Gulf Coast was completed as the two remaining C-17 lift missions—authorized by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates—arrived in New Orleans.
Wildlife Surveillance and Recovery Teams Search for Impacted WildlifeEight joint surveillance and recovery teams were deployed via air, land, and sea. Two helicopter surveys were conducted. Typical marine birds (pipers, gulls, pelicans, herons, osprey) were observed in the normal clumped pattern along the shoreline. No evidence of oiled shoreline or oiled wildlife was observed by aerial operations
Preparations Continue for Drilling of Second Relief WellMMS reports the Development Driller II arrived at a temporary location approximately five miles from the drill site to load materials required to position the vessel and begin drilling the well. MMS expects the vessel will move to the drill location within the next 24-48 hours and prepare to begin drilling.
Additional Funds are Authorized for Pollution Removal EffortsMMS successfully amended its Pollution Removal Fund Authorization to cover response operations through May 17 with a maximum value of $1 million. This agreement may be amended as the response situation warrants.
Boom Quality Flights ContinueU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel are working with BP to ensure overflights occur twice daily in the morning and evening to check that booming is deployed appropriately and any required maintenance is completed quickly.
Plans Begin for Potential Manatee Monitoring and Potential RescueThe U.S. Geological Survey is working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute on a plan for potential manatee rescues and monitoring (by aerial surveys), in coordination with NOAA and FWS in Florida, Alabama and Louisiana. Crews collected water and sediment samples at four sites in Louisiana and seven sites in the Florida panhandle.
Scientists Conduct Studies on Subsurface OilThe NOAA Research-funded mission of the R/V Pelican is back at the spill site with six scientists from National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology and currently engaged in efforts to learn more about subsurface oil.
Teams Continue Shoreline Cleanup and AssessmentsSCAT teams surveyed 19 miles of Dauphin Island, Ala., and the Jackson County shoreline with minimal tarball findings. An additional five teams were deployed to Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge (Ala.) to recover tarballs.
By the Numbers to Date:
- Personnel were quickly deployed and approximately 17,000 are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife.
- Approximately 560 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.
- More than 1.2 million feet of containment boom and 380,000 feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 200,000 feet of containment boom and 870,000 feet of sorbent boom are available.
- Approximately 5 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
- Approximately 517,000 gallons of dispersant have been deployed. More than 250,000 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.).
- 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 http://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.