The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill: June 24 and June 25, 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.

Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner met with BP executives Bob Dudley, Lamar McKay, David Nagel and Karen St. John to discuss a number of key issues, including containment, redundancy, the claims process and scientific monitoring. Dudley recently assumed the lead role for BP in the Gulf restoration.

Browner reiterated the President’s commitment to the people of the Gulf—that the administration will not rest or be satisfied until the leak is stopped at the source, the oil in the Gulf is contained and cleaned up, and the people of the Gulf are able to go back to their lives and their livelihoods—and reminded them that their work and response will be based on that bar.

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 25, 2010 7 PM
 

In the Past 24 Hours

Admiral Allen Provides Operational 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 progress of the administration-wide response to the BP oil spill. He addressed contingency plans that would be implemented in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm entering the Gulf of Mexico—and the threshold of gale force winds that would require the responding vessels in the vicinity of the Deepwater Horizon drilling site to be evacuated. A transcript is available here.

Director Bromwich Announces New Oversight and Enforcement Initiatives
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement Director Michael Bromwich—the former Department of Justice Inspector General who now leads Interior Department reform initiatives to strengthen oversight and policing of offshore oil and gas development—announced that he will establish an investigations and review unit to expedite his oversight, enforcement and re-organization mandates.

The new unit will provide the capacity to investigate allegations of misconduct, unified and coordinated monitoring of compliance with laws and regulations, and be able to respond swiftly to emerging and urgent issues on a bureau-wide level and in the offshore energy industry.

Fifth NOAA Ship Adds to Ongoing Research Efforts in the Gulf Coast
NOAA Ship Delaware II departed Key West, Fla., to collect tunas, swordfish and sharks and compile data about the conditions these highly migratory species are experiencing in the Gulf of Mexico. During its two-week mission, the research vessel will use longline fishing gear to capture the fish, and assess their environment using sophisticated water chemistry monitoring instruments.

Two other NOAA ships—Pisces, one of NOAA’s newest research vessels, and the ship Oregon II—are in the midst of surveys of reef fish, bottom-dwelling fish, and shrimp in the eastern and western Gulf of Mexico to sample for seafood and water quality and species abundance as part of the oil spill response. For a complete list of vessels involved in NOAA’s ongoing efforts to engage the best scientific minds to monitor water quality and ensure the health and safety of seafood, click here.

BP Continues to Optimize Oil Recovery Rates from its Leaking Well
Under the direction of the federal government, BP continues to capture some oil and burn gas at the surface using its containment dome technique, despite a temporary interruption earlier this week. In addition to the oil collection aboard the Discoverer Enterprise, which is linked by the riser pipe to the wellhead, and the Q4000, which continues to flare off additional oil and gas being brought up through the choke line, collection capacity is expected to increase when a third vessel arrives next week and is attached to the kill line.

Progress Continues in Drilling Relief Wells
The Development Driller III continues to drill the first relief well to a depth of approximately 16,200 feet (11,000 feet below the sea floor), and crews have begun the process of cementing and casing the well liner. The Development Driller II has drilled the second relief well—a redundancy measure taken at the direction of the administration—to a depth of approximately 11,800 feet (6,500 feet below the sea floor).

BP has started the “ranging” process—which involves periodically withdrawing the drill pipe and sending an electrical signal down to determine how close they are getting to the wellbore.

More than 500 Fish and Wildlife Service Personnel Deployed to Protect Vital Wildlife
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service continues to coordinate and supervise search and capture for oiled wildlife—dispatching 528 staff to conduct aerial flights to identify oiled wildlife and helping facilitate recovery and treatment, and leading numerous bird survey teams in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida to determine the extent of the oil impact on birds. To report oiled wildlife, call the Wildlife Hotline at (866) 557-1401.

Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Top $6.5 Million; Deferments on Existing Disaster Loans Surpass $2.5 Million per Month
SBA has approved 109 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $6.5 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 493 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $2.5 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 disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

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, 77,915 claims have been opened, from which more than $125.9 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are 839 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.

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, 1,618 are active.
  • Approximately 37,000 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
  • More than 6,500 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 2.63 million feet of containment boom and 4.41 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 825,000 feet of containment boom and 2.23 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
  • Approximately 26 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
  • Approximately 1.51 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied—998,000 on the surface and 515,000 subsea. More than 494,000 gallons are available.
  • 275 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of more than 10 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 179 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently oiled—approximately 34 miles in Louisiana, 42 miles in Mississippi, 42 miles in Alabama, and 61 miles in Florida. These numbers reflect a daily snapshot of shoreline currently experiencing impacts from oil 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 78,600 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. More than 67 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 Canada, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization and the European Union's Monitoring and Information Centre.
     

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The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill
Prepared by the Joint Information Center
UPDATED June 24, 2010 7 PM 

In the Past 24 Hours

Carol Browner Meets with Top BP Officials
Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner today met with BP executives Bob Dudley, Lamar McKay, David Nagel and Karen St. John to discuss a number of key issues, including containment, redundancy, the claims process and scientific monitoring. Dudley recently assumed the lead role for BP in the Gulf restoration.

Browner reiterated the President’s commitment to the people of the Gulf—that the administration will not rest or be satisfied until the leak is stopped at the source, the oil in the Gulf is contained and cleaned up, and the people of the Gulf are able to go back to their lives and their livelihoods—and reminded them that their work and response will be based on that bar.

Regional Incident Commanders Provide Operational Update on the BP Oil Spill Response
Coast Guard Captains Steven Poulin and Roger Laferriere, the Regional Incident Commanders for the Mobile and Houma sectors, respectively, today provided operational updates to inform Gulf Coast residents on the progress of the administration-wide response to the BP oil spill.

Containment Cap Operations Resume; Preparations are Made for Third Vessel
Yesterday, as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of operations, the use of the lower marine riser package (LMRP) containment cap was temporarily suspended when a discharge of liquids was observed. Upon completion of the inspection, the LMRP was reconnected to the Discoverer Enterprise around 8 p.m. last night and resumed operations this morning.

The capture of oil and gas through the blowout preventer’s choke line to the Q4000 vessel on the surface has continued without interruption.

The first of four free-standing risers has been installed and is being tested. The vessel Helix Producer, which is expected to be operational by late June, will be used to produce oil and gas through the first free-standing riser.

FWS and NPS Continue Their Efforts to Recover and Rehabilitate Oiled Wildlife
U.S. Fish and Wildlife and National Park Service personnel continue efforts to protect Gulf Coast wildlife and habitats from the effects of the BP oil spill. On Wednesday, FWS rescue and recovery teams responded to calls to the Wildlife Hotline reporting oiled or injured wildlife along the Gulf Coast. To report oiled wildlife, call (866) 557-1401.

Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Top $6 Million
SBA has approved 101 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $6 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 481 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $2.2 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 disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Administration Continues to Oversee BP’s Claims Process; Payments Surpass $125 Million
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, 75,106 claims have been opened, from which more than $125.9 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are 787 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.

On Wednesday, a meeting was held with representatives from the State of Florida, top BP claims officials and the Integrated Services Team—which was established by the National Incident Command to coordinate interagency support services for individuals and small businesses impacted by the BP oil spill—to ensure that BP's claims process is transparent, prompt, and responsive to the unique needs of the impacted communities citizens and businesses.

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, 1,640 are active.
  • Approximately 37,000 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
  • More than 6,200 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 2.6 million feet of containment boom and 4.24 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 850,000 feet of containment boom and 2.26 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
  • Approximately 25.6 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
  • Approximately 1.48 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied—977,000 on the surface and 502,000 subsea. More than 422,000 gallons are available.
  • 275 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of more than 10 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 179 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently oiled—approximately 34 miles in Louisiana, 42 miles in Mississippi, 42 miles in Alabama, and 61 miles in Florida. These numbers reflect a daily snapshot of shoreline currently experiencing impacts from oil 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 78,600 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. More than 67 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 Canada, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization and the European Union's Monitoring and Information Centre.

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 (713) 323-1670.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • Any members of the press who encounter response personnel restricting their access or violating the media access policy (pdf) set forth by Admiral Allen should contact the Joint Information Center. Click here for more information, including a list of regular embed opportunities.
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