Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–July 16, 2010.
PAST 24 HOURS
Admiral Allen Provides Update on the Well Integrity Test and Overall Response
BP continued the well integrity test, which is being closely monitored by the federal government. As part of the ongoing testing and analysis, oil flow was temporarily halted by the capping stack system. Admiral Allen delivered a briefing to update the American people on these efforts.
EPA Administrator Jackson and Navy Secretary Mabus Hold Outreach Meetings
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson joined Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in the Gulf Coast today for meetings with environmental, academic and science leaders, as well as representatives from fisheries and other local industries. The President has charged Secretary Mabus with creating a plan of federal support for the long-term economic and environmental restoration of the Gulf Coast region.
Administrator Jackson also met with environmental, community-based stakeholders, local business leaders and academic and science experts in New Orleans to discuss EPA’s role in the BP oil spill response. This marks Administrator Jackson’s seventh visit to the gulf region since the oil spill began.
New Guidelines Are Established to Ensure More Local Vessels Can Join the Response
The Louisiana Unified Command announced new guidelines to enhance the Vessels of Opportunity (VOO) program, which employs boat owners and their crews to help in the response across the Gulf. The new guidelines will ensure that more local residents on local, commercial vessels are able to participate in the program and benefit through their efforts to help respond to the oil spill. The changes were made to address concerns voiced by commercial fisherman and communities across the coast of Louisiana. Currently, more than 2,700 vessels are participating in the VOO program.
Administration Partners with Audubon Nature Institute to Host Sea Turtle Forum
The Unified Area Command co-hosted “Turtle Talk” with Audubon Nature Institute—the first event to bring together the lead agencies involved in turtle protection efforts in one forum to discuss the status of sea turtles affected by the BP oil spill. The forum—which was streamed live online—brought together sea turtle experts from NOAA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service for a roundtable discussion.
Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Surpass $14 Million
SBA has approved 171 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $14 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 671 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $3.5 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’ve suffered a financial loss as a result of the BP oil spill. To date, 114,278 claims have been opened, from which more than $200 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are 1,097 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.