GULF COAST–(ENEWSPF)–June 5, 2010.
PAST 24 HOURS
Admiral Allen Provides Operational Update for Unified Area Command
National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen today provided a briefing to inform the American public and answer questions on the progress of the administration-wide response to the BP oil spill at the Theodore Staging Area in Theodore, Ala.
BP Places Containment Device Over Wellhead; Currently Capturing Some Oil and Gas Under the federal government’s direction, BP cut off a portion of the riser before attempting to place a containment device over it in order to capture the leaking oil. BP has placed the containment cap over the source of the leak. The cap has allowed BP to capture some oil and burn some gas at the surface.
At his briefing this morning, Admiral Allen was cautiously optimistic about this new development, saying that the goal is to increase the amount of oil captured and “hopefully take the pressure off the well and hopefully start to reduce the oil that is coming out through the vents.”
Administrator Jackson Hosts Meeting With Experts on Coastal Protection and Cleanup
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and the National Incident Command in Houma, La., today convened a meeting of science and technology experts to explore new ideas and methods for coastal protection and clean up technologies—part of continued efforts to engage the brightest minds from across the federal government, academia and the private sector in the ongoing response to the BP oil spill.
These experts, many of whom have years of experience and expertise on oil spill clean up operations, are examining and analyzing both traditional and innovative approaches to marsh and wetlands oil clean up and remediation in order to identify the most promising alternatives and facilitate ongoing collaborations for both short- and long-term response.
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. BP reports that 35,591 claims have been opened, from which more than $48.1 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are 514 claims adjusters on the ground. To file a claim, visit www.bp.com/claims or call BP’s helpline at (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.
The National Incident Command has established the Deepwater Integrated Services Team to coordinate interagency support services for individuals and small businesses impacted by the BP oil spill—designed to provide residents with full, streamlined access to all available assistance programs. In addition, www.disasterassistance.gov has been enhanced to provide a one-stop shop for information on how to file a claim with BP and access additional assistance—available in English and Spanish.
SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Approved for Louisiana
SBA has approved 36 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling $1,257,000, for small businesses in Louisiana impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 272 existing SBA disaster loans in the Gulf Coast region, totaling $1,123,300 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].
Shoreline Cleanup and Wildlife Rescue Crews Increased in Louisiana
Additional shoreline cleanup and wildlife rescue crews today were committed to Grand Isle, La., due to heavy oil hitting along a 12.5-mile stretch of coastline. Nineteen contract biologists were sent to supplement the U.S. Fish and Wildlife personnel in the area.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fish (DWF) reported that as of today 78 percent of all bird sightings have resulted in rescue. However, operators of bird rehabilitation facilities report that they are experiencing difficulties when cleaning the more heavily oiled birds.
Fishing Restrictions Increase by One Percent; 67 Percent Remains Open
Today, NOAA added 565 square miles to the fishing closed area—located at the northeast edge of the closed area and encompassing the projected movement of oil toward Panama City Beach, Florida. This federal closure does not apply to any state waters. The closed area now represents 78,603 square miles, which is approximately 33 percent of Gulf of Mexico federal waters. This leaves more than 67 percent of Gulf federal waters available for fishing. Closing fishing in these areas is a precautionary measure to ensure that seafood from the Gulf will remain safe for consumers. Details can be found at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/.
By the Numbers to Date:
- The administration has authorized 17,500 National Guard troops from Gulf Coast states to participate in the response to the BP oil spill.
- More than 20,000 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
- More than 2,600 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.
- Approximately 2.1 million feet of containment boom and 2.35 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 695,000 feet of containment boom and 2.2 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
- Approximately 15.2 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
- Approximately 1.05 million gallons of total dispersant have been deployed—779,000 on the surface and 270,000 subsea. More than 450,000 gallons are available.
- 125 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of more than 3.2 million gallons of oil from the open water in an effort to protect shoreline and wildlife.
- 17 staging areas are in place and ready to protect sensitive shorelines, including: Dauphin Island, Ala., Orange Beach, Ala., Theodore, Ala., Panama City, Fla., Pensacola, Fla., Port St. Joe, Fla., St. Marks, Fla., Amelia, La., Cocodrie, La., Grand Isle, La., Shell Beach, La., Slidell, La., St. Mary, La.; Venice, La., Biloxi, Miss., Pascagoula, Miss., and Pass Christian, Miss.