The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill: June 9, 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.

This afternoon, the President received a briefing on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill from Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner in the Oval Office. On Monday, June 14, and Tuesday, June 15, the President will travel back to the Gulf Coast for his fourth trip to the region since the BP oil spill. The President will visit Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to further assess the latest efforts to contain and clean up the oil and restore the Gulf Coast.  

BP Oil Spill Briefing with Advisors

President Barack Obama receives a briefing on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill from Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner in the Oval Office. With Browner are Counsel to the President Bob Bauer and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. June 9, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama Receives a Breifing on the BP Oil Spill

President Barack Obama receives a briefing on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Oval Office. June 9, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Today, National Incident Commander Admiral Allen meet with BP claims officials to assert claims oversight and ensure BP meets commitments to restore Gulf Coast communities. Read more of the latest in the ongoing Administration-wide response provided by the Joint Information Center below.   

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 9, 2010 7 PM
 

In the Past 24 Hours

Admiral Allen Meets with BP Claims Officials; Asserts Oversight of Claims Process
At the President’s direction, Admiral Thad Allen today met with top BP claims officials to assert the administration's oversight of BP's claims process in order to ensure that every legitimate claim is honored and paid in an efficient manner. He expressed the American people’s urgent need for additional transparency into BP's claims process, including how the process works, and how quickly claims are being processed for both individuals and businesses impacted by the oil spill. Additional meetings will be held in each of the four impacted states from June 11-13.

Today’s meeting followed a letter (pdf) sent today from Admiral Allen to BP CEO Tony Hayward directing the company to provide the National Incident Command and appropriate representatives of the affected Gulf Coast states with more detailed information about the full range of activities—from acceptance to processing to payment—BP is undertaking to meet its obligations as a responsible party in this disaster.

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, BP reports that 41,958 claims have been opened, from which more than $52.9 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are 533 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.

Admiral Allen Provides Operational Update of BP Oil Spill Response
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. A transcript is available here.

Rear Admiral Watson Instructs BP to Execute Oil Containment Contingency Plans
Federal On-Scene Coordinator Rear Admiral James A. Watson has sent a letter to BP instructing them to develop plans—within 72 hours—to “put equipment, systems and processes in place to ensure that the remaining oil and gas flowing can be recovered, taking into account safety, environmental and meteorological factors.”

The letter stressed the importance of redundancies to maintain collection rates in the event of operational problems, the need for multiple recovery vessels once additional capacity is needed, or severe weather, such as a hurricane.

Secretary Solis Visits Gulf Region to Inspect Efforts to Ensure Oil Spill Worker Safety
At the direction of the President, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis traveled to Louisiana to inspect efforts to ensure the health, safety and well-being of workers affected by the BP oil spill. She met with beach cleanup workers in Port Fourchon; discussed worker safety efforts with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) staff; and visited the Terrebonne Career Solutions Center, where she met with Vietnamese workers affected by the spill.

Policy Established to Protect Worker Health and Safety as Heat Rises in the Region
In an effort to protect the health and safety of workers amid rising summer temperatures, the Unified Area Command has established a policy requiring all on-shore and near-shore cleanup workers to follow a work/rest cycle to ensure their safety and well-being—which is determined based on the heat index, type of work being performed and required protective clothing. In addition, cleanup workers must be provided with plenty of water and encouraged to hydrate regularly. More information from OSHA is available here (pdf).

BP Continues to Capture Some Oil and Gas Using Containment Device
BP continues to capture some oil and burn some gas at the surface using its containment dome technique, which is being executed under the federal government’s direction. After cutting off a portion of the riser, BP placed a containment device over it in order to capture oil at its source.

Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Surpass $2.1 Million
SBA has approved 51 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $2.19 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 343 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $1.5 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 24,000 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
  • More than 4,500 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 2.17 million feet of containment boom and 2.6 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 520,000 feet of containment boom and 2.3 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
  • Approximately 16 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
  • Approximately 1.14 million gallons of total dispersant have been deployed—798,000 on the surface and 346,000 subsea. More than 500,000 gallons are available.
  • More than 145 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of more than 3.62 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.

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 (pdf). 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.
  • 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. 
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