The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill: June 3, 2010

Ed. Note: For more information on federal response resources, volunteer opportunities, and assistance for those in affected areas visit WhiteHouse.gov/Deepwater-BP-Oil-Spill.

Below is the latest in the ongoing Administration-wide response provided by the Joint Information Center.  

Heidi Avery is White House Deputy Homeland Security Advisor

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The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill
Prepared by the Joint Information Center
UPDATED June 3, 2010 7 PM
 

In the Past 24 Hours

Obama Administration Sends BP a Preliminary Bill for $69 Million
The Obama administration sent a preliminary bill for $69.09 million to BP and other responsible parties for response and recovery operations relating to the BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. To provide full transparency of the ongoing efforts and to ensure that the American public is not held accountable for the costs of response and recovery activities, the Administration will continue to bill BP regularly for all associated costs to ensure the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund is reimbursed on an ongoing basis.

As a responsible party, BP is financially responsible for all costs associated with the response to the spill, including efforts to stop the leak at its source, reduce the spread of oil, protect the shoreline and mitigate damages, as well as long term recovery efforts to ensure that all individuals and communities impacted by the spill are made whole.

BP Completes Riser Shear Operation and Continues to Ready Containment Device
Under the federal government’s direction, BP cut off a portion of the riser and is now preparing its attempt to lower a device over the area that will allow them to try and capture a substantial amount of the oil leaking out.

In order to ensure the American public receive the most accurate information, Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Policy Carol Browner has provided an estimate, calculated by the National Incident Command’s Flow Rate Technical Group, that BP's tactic involving cutting off this portion of the riser could result in a temporary increase in oil flow by as much as 20 percent until the containment device is applied over the leak. This group, including government scientists and academic experts, will continue to evaluate a potential temporary increase as a result of this tactic and will provide any additional assessments as they become available.

Admiral Allen Provides Operational Update for Unified Area Command
National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen provided a briefing to inform the American public and answer questions on the progress of the administration-wide response to the BP oil spill from the U.S. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans in Metairie, La. A transcript is available here.

Science Summit Addresses Environmental Impacts of BP Oil SPill 
The Consortium for Ocean Leadership today hosted a science symposium in Baton Rouge, sponsored by NOAA and other federal agencies, to discuss the urgent science issues involved in both short-term response actions and long-term monitoring of environmental impacts relating to the BP oil spill.

This science symposium builds on the unprecedented mobilization of science by the federal government, which has engaged the world’s brightest scientific minds from the public and private sector. Academic and research scientists from across the country discussed the unique contributions that non-federal researchers can make to help ensure that the highest quality data is collected and disseminated.
 
EPA Administrator Meets with Local Officials on Environmental Impact of BP spill
Continuing her fourth trip to the Gulf Coast, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson provided a briefing for approximately 45 local mayors and elected officials from Mississippi and Alabama on the EPA’s ongoing efforts to protect local residents and monitor air, water and sediment quality in the Gulf Coast region. Administrator Jackson also toured the Incident Command Post in Mobile, Ala., and visited an EPA mobile air monitoring vehicle near Dauphin Island.

Secretary Vilsack Pledges USDA Nutrition Assistance for Impacted Gulf States
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has sent letters to Gulf Coast governors pledging USDA’s support and technical assistance to impacted states to provide access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for thousands of low-income individuals in the region—including those affected by the BP oil spill.

In addition, other USDA nutrition assistance programs such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children; the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs; the Summer Food Service Program; and the Emergency Food Assistance Program are available to help children and their families dealing with the economic effects of the oil spill. USDA will continue to work with the Gulf States to reach all those that are eligible.

Coastal Impact Survey Teams are Deployed in Alabama
In preparation for encroaching oil on Alabama’s barrier islands, thirteen teams were deployed—surveying fourteen miles of the coastline via sea, ground and air.

Commerce Secretary Announces Fishery Failure Determination for Florida
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke has determined there has been a fishery disaster in Florida due to the economic impact on commercial and recreational fisheries from the BP oil spill—increasing the affected area from the May 24 determination which included Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

The disaster determination was made in response to requests from Florida Governor Charlie Crist and U.S. Senator Bill Nelson based on the loss of access to many commercial fisheries and the existing and anticipated environmental damage from this unprecedented event. The determination allows the federal government to mobilize a range of assistance measures for Florida fishing communities.

Coast Guard Responds to Reports of Oil Pollution in Florida Keys
U.S. Coast Guard pollution investigators from Sector Key West are responding to reports of an oily substance and tar balls near Duck Key, Long Key, and Grassy Key, Fla. While the Coast Guard aggressively responds to all reports of pollution, it will require sampling and testing to determine if any pollution is related to the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill. To date, none of the previous reports have been related.

Officials Continue to Ready National Parks for Potential Impacts by Oil 
 National Parks Service personnel continue to conduct daily surveys and make the necessary preparations for the possible arrival of BP’s leaking oil.

Property Damage Claims Processed
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 33,257 claims have been opened, from which more than $42.9 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are more than 510 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.

SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Approved for Louisiana
The Small Business Administration has approved 35 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling $1,222,800, for small businesses in Louisiana impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 246 existing SBA disaster loans in the Gulf Coast region, totaling $982,800 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 disastercustomerservice@sba.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 1,900 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 million feet of containment boom and 2.2 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 654,000 feet of containment boom and 1.7 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
  • Approximately 14.8 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
  • Approximately 993,000 gallons of total dispersant have been deployed—759,000 on the surface and 245,000 subsea. More than 455,000 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.

Resources:

  • For information about the response effort, visit www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.
  • For specific information about the federal-wide response, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/deepwater-bp-oil-spill.
  • To contact the Deepwater Horizon Joint Information Center, call (985) 902-5231.
  • To volunteer, or to report oiled shoreline, call (866) 448-5816. Volunteer opportunities can also be found here.
  • To submit your vessel as a vessel of opportunity skimming system, or to submit alternative response technology, services, or products, call 281-366-5511.
  • To report oiled wildlife, call (866) 557-1401. Messages will be checked hourly.
  • For information about validated environmental air and water sampling results, visit www.epa.gov/bpspill.
  • For National Park Service updates about potential park closures, resources at risk, and NPS actions to protect vital park space and wildlife, visit http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/oil-spill-response.htm.
  • For Fish and Wildlife Service updates about response along the Gulf Coast and the status of national wildlife refuges, visit http://www.fws.gov/home/dhoilspill/.
  • For daily updates on fishing closures, visit http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov
  • 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 disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.
  • To file a claim with BP, visit www.bp.com/claims or call BP’s helpline at (800) 440-0858. A BP fact sheet with additional information is available here. 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.  More information about what types of damages are eligible for compensation under the Oil Pollution Act as well as guidance on procedures to seek that compensation can be found here
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