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Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill. August 23. 2010

Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–August 23, 2010.

PAST 24 HOURS 

Admiral Allen Provides an Update on the BP Oil Spill Response

National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen provided a briefing to inform the American public and answer questions on the administration-wide response to the BP oil spill.

More Than 1.5 Million Feet of Hard Boom Recovered from Coastal Waters

Because virtually no visible oil has been spotted on the surface of the Gulf in these areas recently and in order to protect shorelines and environmentally sensitive lands from potential damage caused by boom in severe weather, responders have removed more than 90 percent of the hard boom initially deployed as part of the federal-led response to protect vital shorelines in Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

The Mobile Incident Command Post has recovered more than 1.5 million feet of hard boom from those state waters—working with federal, state and local officials to evaluate removal plans. Responders remain vigilant and ready to deploy boom should it be needed to protect the coast from any new threats from oil that may emerge in the coming days and weeks.

Oversight of Claims Process Transferred to Independent Gulf Coast Claims Facility

According to an announcement from Gulf Coast Claims Facility Administrator Kenneth Feinberg, the independent agency established in June as part of an agreement between the Obama Administration and BP “is fully functioning and will begin to process claims for emergency payment” and “all individual and business claims and supporting documentation have been transferred from BP to the GCCF.”

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. To date, 153,920* claims have been opened, from which nearly $398 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied. There are 1,241 claims adjusters on the ground. 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.

FWS Personnel Continue Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Missions Across the Region

From the Houma, La., Incident Command Post, 242 field personnel, 71 vessels, three helicopters and one airplane participated in reconnaissance and wildlife rescue and recovery missions, responding to 54 calls on the Wildlife Hot line. From the Mobile, Ala., Incident Command Post, 20 two-person recovery teams, 19 vessels and one helicopter participated in reconnaissance and wildlife rescue and recovery missions, responding to 21 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 FWS refuges and national parks—removing oil debris from Horn Island (2,790 lbs), Fort Pickens (2,189 lbs), Santa Rosa (1,030 lbs) and West Ship Island (1,000 lbs).

Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Surpass $22.9 Million

SBA has approved 262 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $22.9 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 847 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $4.6 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].

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, 1,214 are active.
  • More than 29,600 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
  • More than 4,400 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 2.03 million feet of containment boom** and 8.97 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 2 million feet of containment boom and 3.35 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 135 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently experiencing moderate to heavy oil impacts—approximately 115 miles in Louisiana, 11 miles in Mississippi, 5 miles in Alabama, and 4 miles in Florida. Approximately 522 miles of shoreline are experiencing light to trace oil impacts—approximately 233 miles in Louisiana, 99 miles in Mississippi, 68 miles in Alabama, and 122 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 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.

*Today’s decrease in the total number of claims filed is a result of the removal of duplicates following an audit of the claims database.

**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.

 

Source: deepwaterhorizonresponse.com

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