MIAMI–(ENEWSPF)–June 10, 2010. Representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of the Interior, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and BP have stood up a Florida Peninsula Command Post in Miami Thursday.
This command post provides a command and control structure to plan and deliver oil spill preparedness and response activities across the Florida Peninsula should they be needed. It reports to the Unified Area Command in Robert, La., and ensures comprehensive monitoring and detection capabilities, people, equipment and processes to quickly respond to pollution threats to the Florida Peninsula from the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill.
During the two weeks of planning and preparation leading to the stand up, the Florida Peninsula Command Post initiated an offshore monitoring system. A Sentry Vessel program and regular aerial surveys have helped confirm that, at this time, the threat of weathered oil-related impacts on the Florida Peninsula and Florida Keys remains extremely low. Only a small and isolated section of light oil sheen has been identified more than 200 miles west of the Florida Peninsula coast. There have been no reports of Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill-related products reaching shore in the Florida Peninsula.
As part of the Florida Peninsula Command Post, a Branch structure will remain in St. Petersburg, Fla., covering Taylor, Dixie, Levy, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Collier counties, and Key West, Fla., covering Monroe county, to provide robust outreach and response operations to local communities. Branches in Miami covering Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, and Jacksonville covering all other Florida coastal counties are being established to augment existing outreach response operations in these counties.
Response efforts for counties located in the western pan handle area which includes Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf, Walton, Franklin, Wakulla, and Jefferson Counties will continue to be coordinated out of the Mobile Incident Command Post.
The Joint Information Center for the Incident Command Post in Miami has established a dedicated media phone line relating to the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill. The toll-free number is (888) 693-3003.