Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–August 19, 2010.
PAST 24 HOURS
Admiral Thad Allen Issues Directive to BP Providing Authorization and Conditions for BOP Replacement Prior to Completion of the Relief Well
Today, National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen issued a directive to BP providing authorization to replace the BOP on the Deepwater Horizon/Macondo 252 well, including the specific conditions required for the replacement to take place. If conditions are satisfied, this action will occur before Admiral Allen provides final authorization to complete the relief well and bottom kill.
Admiral Allen and Dr. Jane Lubchenco Provides an Update on the BP Oil Spill Response
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. A
“We directed BP to flush out the current blow out preventer and capping stack, clean it out and fill it with sea water in anticipation of an ambient test where we have sea water in the BOP that is the same liquid that we have outside the BOP to allow us to do a more accurate pressure test,” said Admiral Allen. “All that has been completed and last night we agreed to proceed to remove the current blow out preventer and capping stack, replace it with a new blow preventer in advance of the well kill subject to conditions.”
Top Administration Officials Meet with Gulf Coast Damage Assessment Trustees; Visit Delta National Wildlife Refuge
Top federal officials met with the trustees overseeing the natural resource damage assessment for the Gulf of Mexico to discuss the on-going response efforts to the BP oil spill and to reiterate the Administration’s commitment to long-term Gulf Coast restoration and recovery.
The Administration team included Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator Jane Lubchenco; Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson; and Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley. Later in the day, the team, accompanied by Interior Assistant Secretary of Fish and Wildlife Tom Strickland, visited the Delta National Wildlife Refuge in Venice, Louisiana and nearby areas affected by the BP oil spill.
“Though the flow of oil is stopped and the relief well is approaching its final phases, many chapters lie ahead for the recovery and restoration of the Gulf Coast from this oil spill,” said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. “From the marshes here in the Delta National Wildlife Refuge to the wildlife habitat around the Gulf Coast, we will stay focused on the job at hand every step of the way and ensure that those accountable for the spill fulfill their responsibilities.”
FWS Personnel Continue Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Missions Across the Region
From the Mobile, Ala., Incident Command Post, 22 two-person teams, 19 vessels and one helicopter continued the search for oil impacts and injured or oiled wildlife. To report oiled wildlife, call (866) 557-1401.
Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Surpass $22.2 Million
SBA has approved 252 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $22.2 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 837 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $4.5 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 [email protected].
Administration Continues to Oversee BP’s Claims Process
The administration will continue to hold the responsible parties accountable for repairing the damage, and repaying Americans who have suffered a financial loss as a result of the BP oil spill. To date, 153,650 claims have been opened, from which nearly $389 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are 1,243 claims adjusters on the ground. To file a claim, visit www.bp.com/claims or call BP’s helpline at 1-800-440-0858. 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. Additional information about the BP 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, 1,331 are active.
- More than 30,294 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
- More than 4,416 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 2.05 million feet of containment boom** and 8.8 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 1.36 million feet of containment boom and 3.37 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.
- 17 staging areas are in place to protect sensitive shorelines.
- Approximately 674 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently oiled—approximately 352 miles in Louisiana, 116 miles in Mississippi, 72 miles in Alabama, and 134 miles in Florida. These numbers reflect a daily snapshot of shoreline currently experiencing impacts from oil 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 52,395 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. Approximately 78 percent remains 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.