The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill: July 1 - July 7, 2010

Below is a snap shot of the last week in the ongoing Administration-wide response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill 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 July 7, 2010 7 PM
 

In the Past 24 Hours

Administration Launches New, Streamlined Oil Spill Response Website
A new federal web portal was launched today—RestoreTheGulf.gov—dedicated to providing the American people with clear and accessible information and resources related to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill response and recovery.

RestoreTheGulf.gov is designed to serve as a one-stop repository for news, data and operational updates related to administration-wide efforts to stop the BP oil leak and mitigate its impact on the environment, the economy and public health—unifying web resources across the administration and increasing public access to the latest information.

The site offers easy-to-navigate information about the claims and appeals process—as well as other types of assistance available from federal, state, local and non-government sources—for individuals, businesses and communities who have been affected by the spill. It will also contain information about plans for the long-term economic and environmental restoration in the Gulf Coast region. Visit RestoreTheGulf.gov.

Admiral Allen Provides Operational Update While Aboard the Discoverer Enterprise
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 aboard the Discoverer Enterprise. A transcript is available here.

Allen traveled to the well site to get a firsthand look at on-scene conditions in the wake of the passage of recent severe weather, as well as the front currently passing over the Yucatan, which has generated sea states that have had an impact on operations.

Oil Recovered Graph Demonstrates Collection Progress
Under the direction of the federal government, BP continues to capture some oil and burn gas at the surface using its containment dome technique—collecting oil aboard the Discoverer Enterprise, which is linked by a fixed riser pipe to the wellhead, and flaring off additional oil and gas on the Q4000, which is connected to the choke line. BP also is in the progress of connecting a floating riser pipe to third vessel, the Helix Producer, which will increase collection capacity to an estimated 53,000 barrels per day by bringing up additional oil up through the kill line—a redundancy measure also taken at the administration’s direction.

Progress Continues in Drilling Relief Wells
The drilling of relief wells continues and has not been interrupted by elevated sea states. The Development Driller III has drilled the first relief well to a depth of 17,780 feet below the Gulf surface. 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 13,900 feet below the surface. BP continues 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.

Federal Agencies Meet with NAACP and Gulf State Officials on Hurricane Planning
Representatives from FEMA, the Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency held a briefing in Mobile, Ala., on hurricane and natural disaster contingency planning with state emergency planners, the Red Cross and NAACP representatives from throughout the Gulf Coast.

32 Rehabilitated Brown Pelicans Released Back to the Wild
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released 32 rehabilitated brown pelicans back to the wild at Fort DeSoto Park, near Tampa, Florida. 432 rehabilitated birds have been released to date.

Wildlife rescue and recovery crews continue to survey affected areas using hundreds of personnel and dozens of vessels, as well as numerous airboats and helicopters to protect Gulf Coast wildlife and habitats from the effects of the BP oil spill. On Tuesday, rescue and recovery teams responded to a total of 129 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 $11 Million
SBA has approved 144 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $11 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 571 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $3.3 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, 98,596 claims have been opened, from which more than $153.5 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are 950 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, 1,559 are active.
  • More than 45,400 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 3 million feet of containment boom and 5.46 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 870,000 feet of containment boom and 2.3 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
  • More than 28.6 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
  • Approximately 1.72 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied—1.07 million on the surface and 657,000 sub-sea. Approximately 400,000 gallons are available.
  • 275 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of approximately 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 507 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently oiled—approximately 290 miles in Louisiana, 69 miles in Mississippi, 62 miles in Alabama, and 86 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 81,181 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. More than 66 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 Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Russia, Spain, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization, the European Union's Monitoring and Information Centre, and the European Maritime Safety Agency. 

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The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill
Prepared by the Joint Information Center
UPDATED July 6, 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 discussed the progress being made in connecting the Helix Producer to the floating riser pipe, NOAA’s monitoring of weather in the Gulf of Mexico and its potential impacts on cleanup operations, and the status of plans to replace the current containment cap.

Federal and State Officials Develop a Partnership to Determine Safe Fishing Areas
As part of the ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of seafood coming from the Gulf, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and state authorities have agreed upon a shared protocol that will be used by federal and state officials to determine when it is safe to-reopen waters for seafood harvesting. This protocol was announced by Vice President Biden during his visit to the Gulf Coast last week.

FDA Continues Its Inspection of Seafood Processors to Ensure Health and Safety
FDA continues to inspect primary seafood processors along the Gulf Coast to ensure compliance with existing controls to guard against chemical contaminants in the processing of seafood. The FDA has a toll-free number (888-INFO-FDA) for questions or concerns about seafood or to report any seafood suspected of being contaminated with oil.

Authorities Continue Their Safety Oversight to Protect Response Workers
In order to protect responders and workers, the National Institute of Environmental Sciences has developed two safety and awareness courses as well as a 40-hour training module on hazardous waste operations and emergency response (HAZWOPER). Nearly 50,000 individuals throughout the Gulf Coast region have completed the two-to-four hour safety and awareness courses and more than 1,000 people have finished the HAZWOPER training.

CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is monitoring workers involved in the clean-up effort: identifying job duties and locations, training, and personal protective equipment used. This will be used to track worker health over time. So far information from approximately 27,000 workers has been entered into the NIOSH system.

BP Continues to Optimize Oil Recovery Rates; Prepares to Increase Collection Capacity
Under the direction of the federal government, BP continues to capture some oil and burn gas at the surface using its containment dome technique—collecting oil aboard the Discoverer Enterprise, which is linked by a fixed riser pipe to the wellhead, and flaring off additional oil and gas on the Q4000, which is connected to the choke line. BP also has begun connecting a floating riser pipe to third vessel, the Helix Producer, which will increase collection capacity to an estimated 53,000 barrels per day by bringing up additional oil up through the kill line—a redundancy measure also taken at the administration’s direction.

Fish and Wildlife Continues Efforts to Recover and Rehabilitate Oiled Wildlife
Wildlife rescue and recovery crews continue to survey affected areas using hundreds of personnel and dozens of vessels, as well as numerous airboats and helicopters to protect Gulf Coast wildlife and habitats from the effects of the BP oil spill. On Monday, rescue and recovery teams responded to a total of 49 calls to the Wildlife Hotline reporting oiled or injured wildlife along the Gulf Coast. To report oiled wildlife, call (866) 557-1401.

To date, more than 1000 personnel from the Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and E nforcement have been deployed as part of the response.

Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Top $10.9 Million
SBA has approved 142 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $10.9 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 554 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $3.1 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, 96,302 claims have been opened, from which more than $148.7 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are 950 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, 1,548 are active.
  • More than 45,700 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
  • More than 6,900 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 2.97 million feet of containment boom and 5.39 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 888,000 feet of containment boom and 2.4 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
  • More than 28.6 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
  • Approximately 1.72 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied—1.07 million on the surface and 646,000 sub-sea. More than 412,000 gallons are available.
  • 275 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of approximately 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 484 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently oiled—approximately 287 miles in Louisiana, 71 miles in Mississippi, 62 miles in Alabama, and 86 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 81,181 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. More than 66 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 Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, Tunisia the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization, the European Union's Monitoring and Information Centre, and the European Maritime Safety Agency.

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The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill
Prepared by the Joint Information Center
UPDATED July 5, 2010 7 PM
 

In the Past 24 Hours

Crews Continue to Assess the Effects of Recent Weather on Response Operations; Skimming Operations Resume
Crews in Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast continue to repair boom and survey for additional oil deposits after heavy weather moved through the area last week. Heavy winds and waves have blown sand across beaches, burying oil and displacing boom. Normalized sea states have allowed skimming operations to resume. The number of skimming vessels involved in the response has increased more than fivefold in the past month, and more than 31.3 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered through the use of skimmers to date.

BP Continues to Optimize Oil Recovery Rates; Prepares to Increase Collection Capacity
Under the direction of the federal government, BP continues to capture some oil and burn gas at the surface using its containment dome technique—collecting oil aboard the Discoverer Enterprise, which is linked by a fixed riser pipe to the wellhead, and flaring off additional oil and gas on the Q4000, which is connected to the choke line. BP also continues to put the necessary equipment in place to connect a third vessel, the Helix Producer, which will increase collection capacity to an estimated 53,000 barrels per day by bringing up additional oil up through the kill line—a redundancy measure also taken at the administration’s direction.

Progress Continues in Drilling Relief Wells; Ranging Process Continues
The drilling of relief wells continues and has not been interrupted by elevated sea states. The Development Driller III has drilled the first relief well to a depth of more than 17,700 feet below the Gulf surface. 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 13,900 feet below the surface. BP continues 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.

NOAA Expands Fishing Restriction in the Gulf; More than 66 Percent Remains Open
As a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of seafood from the Gulf of Mexico and protect consumers, NOAA has expanded the closed fishing area in the Gulf of Mexico to include portions of the oil slick moving beyond the area’s current northwestern boundary, off the Louisiana federal-state waterline. This boundary was moved westward off Vermilion Bay. The closed area now represents 81,181 square miles—approximately 33.5 percent—of federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico. This closure does not apply to any state waters. This leaves more than 66 percent of Gulf federal waters available for fishing. Details can be found at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/.

Officials Relocate Fort Jackson Bird Rehabilitation Center to a More Secure Area
In an effort to minimize harm and stress on animals in rehabilitation during the storm season, the Unified Command announced that the Fort Jackson Bird Rehabilitation Center will be moved to a more secure, fit-for-purpose building—to a facility that is less likely to be subject to a hurricane evacuation.

The current building in Buras, La., facility has more than met the needs of the response efforts and the wildlife that has come into its care, including contributing to the release of 400 rehabilitated brown pelicans back to the wild. However, its location along the coast in a phase one hurricane evacuation zone makes it subject to evacuation and damage from tropical storms or hurricanes. The new facility is located in Hammond, La., north of the three phase hurricane evacuation zones.

Wildlife rescue and recovery crews continue to survey affected areas for oiled wildlife in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. To date, more than 1000 personnel from the Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement have been deployed as part of the 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. To date, 95,387 claims have been opened, from which more than $147.2 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are 951 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, 1,577 are active.
  • More than 45,000 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
  • More than 7,000 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 2.96 million feet of containment boom and 5.3 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 888,000 feet of containment boom and 2.8 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
  • More than 31.3 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
  • Approximately 1.7 million gallons of total dispersants have been applied—1.07 million on the surface and 634,000 sub-sea. More than 250,000 gallons are available.
  • 275 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of approximately 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 492 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently oiled—approximately 275 miles in Louisiana, 70 miles in Mississippi, 61 miles in Alabama, and 86 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 81,181 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. More than 66 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 Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, Tunisia 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 July 4, 2010 7 PM
 

In the Past 24 Hours

Crews Assess the Effects of Recent Weather on Response Operations
Crews in Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast are checking deployed boom and surveying for additional oil deposits after heavy weather moved through the area. Heavy winds and waves have blown sand across beaches, burying oil and boom. Reports of damaged and stranded boom have been received from Plaquemines, Terrebonne, Iberia, Jefferson and Lafourche parishes. Crews are beginning a systematic effort to repair any boom that has been damaged.

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—collecting oil aboard the Discoverer Enterprise, which is linked by a fixed riser pipe to the wellhead, and flaring off additional oil and gas on the Q4000, which is connected to the choke line. The collection capacity is expected to increase to an estimated 53,000 barrels per day once the third vessel, the Helix Producer, begins bringing additional oil up through the kill line—a redundancy measure also taken at the administration’s direction.

Progress Continues in Drilling Relief Wells; Ranging Process Continues
The drilling of relief wells continues and has not been interrupted by elevated sea states. The Development Driller III has drilled the first relief well to a depth of approximately 17,400 feet below the Gulf surface. The Development Driller II has drilled the second relief well—a redundancy measure taken at the direction of the administration—to a depth of more than 13,800 feet below the surface. BP continues 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.

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, 1,577 are active.
  • More than 44,500 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
  • More than 7,000 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 2.9 million feet of containment boom and 5.09 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 935,000 feet of containment boom and 2.36 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
  • More than 28.2 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
  • Approximately 1.68 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied—1.06 million on the surface and 623,000 sub-sea. More than 451,000 gallons are available.
  • 275 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of approximately 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 484 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently oiled—approximately 264 miles in Louisiana, 79 miles in Mississippi, 59 miles in Alabama, and 82 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 80,228 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. More than 66 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 Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, Tunisia 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 July 3, 2010 7 PM
 

In the Past 24 Hours  

Administrator Jackson Continues Her Sixth Visit to the Gulf Coast
In her sixth visit to the Gulf Coast, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson today traveled to Florida to inspect the ongoing response to the BP oil spill. She visited Pensacola, Fla., to oversee beach cleanup operations and later met with EPA scientists in Gulf Breeze, Fla., to be briefed on ongoing dispersant testing. She also attended a meeting with local elected leaders, public health officials and other community representatives at the EPA’s Gulf Breeze Lab—to address concerns about the short- and long-term environmental impacts of the spill.

The EPA continues to monitor air, water and sediment quality in the Gulf of Mexico and test the impacts of chemical dispersants. For more information on the testing results, click here.

Shoreline Cleanup Operations Continue Along Gulf Coast
While some offshore mitigation efforts such as skimming and controlled burns have been restricted or halted due to elevated sea states from Hurricane Alex, shoreline cleanup operations continue in places where oil has come ashore.

Shoreline cleanup assessment teams monitor beaches and marshlands to identify impacted shoreline and determine the appropriate technique to remove the oil—taking into account various factors, such as the amount oil, its viscosity, and the environmental sensitivity of the impacted area. In some cases, the oil can be removed mechanically; at other times, teams of workers are the best method. In certain environmentally sensitive areas, cleanup operations can do more harm than good.

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—collecting oil aboard the Discoverer Enterprise, which is linked by a fixed riser pipe to the wellhead, and flaring off additional oil and gas on the Q4000, which is connected to the choke line. The collection capacity is expected to increase to an estimated 53,000 barrels per day once the third vessel, the Helix Producer, begins bringing additional oil up through the kill line—a redundancy measure also taken at the administration’s direction.

Progress Continues in Drilling Relief Wells; Ranging Process Continues
The drilling of relief wells continues and has not been interrupted by elevated sea states. The Development Driller III has drilled the first relief well to a depth of approximately 17,400 feet below the Gulf surface. The Development Driller II has drilled the second relief well—a redundancy measure taken at the direction of the administration—to a depth of more than 13,800 feet below the surface. BP continues 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.

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, 1,577 are active.
  • Approximately 44,300 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
  • More than 6,900 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 2.87 million feet of containment boom and 5.09 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 863,000 feet of containment boom and 2.36 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
  • More than 28.2 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
  • Approximately 1.67 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied—1.06 million on the surface and 612,000 sub-sea. More than 451,000 gallons are available.
  • 275 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of approximately 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 444 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently oiled—approximately 258 miles in Louisiana, 62 miles in Mississippi, 51 miles in Alabama, and 73 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 80,228 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. More than 66 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 Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, Tunisia 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 July 2, 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. A transcript is available here.

Skimming Capabilities Reach Fivefold Increase Since Early June
At the beginning of June, Admiral Allen announced efforts to bring more skimmers to respond to the BP oil spill. Since then, skimming capability in the Gulf has increased more than fivefold—from approximately 100 large skimmers to 550 skimming vessels of various sizes working to collect oil in all parts of the Gulf of Mexico as of today. To date, 28.2 million gallons of an oil-water mix has been skimmed from the Gulf surface.

The skimming surge has come throughout the month of June as an adaptation to the changing characteristics of the spill, which no longer presents itself as a single slick, but a massive collection of smaller patches of oil. Additional skimmers were needed and have been deployed to work those small patches at various depths and distances from the coast. The Unified Command will continue ramping up skimmer capability throughout the coming weeks, with a baseline target of more than 750 skimmers collecting oil in Gulf waters by mid July, and more by the beginning of August. To view a fact sheet on skimmers, click here (pdf).

NOAA Models Long-Term Oil Threat to Gulf and East Coast Shoreline
As part of the ongoing effort to use the state-of-the-art technology and scientific tools in response to aid response operations, NOAA is using modeling of historical wind and ocean currents to project the likelihood that surface oil from the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill will impact additional U.S. coastline.

The modeling uses the high end of the flow rate estimate, and inputs the estimated amount of oil being skimmed, burned, and collected through the containment device—and accounts for the natural process of oil weathering. For more information, click here.

Rear Admiral Zukunft Provides Update on Weather Impacts
Rear Admiral Paul Zukunft provided a briefing to inform Gulf Coast residents and answer questions about the impact weather is having on the ongoing response to the BP oil spill. Because of elevated sea states, no skimming or burning has been conducted for two days. In addition, the weather displaced boom and made it unsafe to fly. Crews are standing by to resume skimming operations and survey inland waterways that may have seen impacts due to a storm surge. Shoreline cleanup operations continue with limited weather interruption. A transcript is available 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—collecting oil aboard the Discoverer Enterprise, which is linked by a fixed riser pipe to the wellhead, and flaring off additional oil and gas on the Q4000, which is connected to the choke line. The collection capacity is expected to increase to an estimated 53,000 barrels per day once the third vessel, the Helix Producer, is connected to the floating riser pipe—a redundancy measure also taken at the administration’s direction.

The Unified Command Continues to Build a Sea Turtle Observer Program
In addition to cleaning up and rehabilitating oiled wildlife, the Unified Command continues to build a sea turtle observer program for all on-water oil clean-up operations. The command’s Wildlife Branch is working now to determine when, where, and how observers can be best positioned to reduce risks posed to sea turtles by oil containment and clean-up activities—such as controlled burn and skimmer fleet operations—and will begin to train additional sea turtle observers this weekend.

Throughout the spill, federal and state biologists have been surveying for and rescuing oiled sea turtles offshore using small vessels carrying trained sea turtle collection teams. To date, more than 100 sea turtles have been collected in these directed surveys, and more than 90 percent are alive at rehabilitation facilities. For more information, click here.

Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Top $8.5 Million
SBA has approved 133 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $9.2 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 554 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $3.1 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, 92,038 claims have been opened, from which more than $143.9 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are 950 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, 1,622 are active.
  • Approximately 43,100 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
  • More than 6,900 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 2.8 million feet of containment boom and 4.95 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 811,000 feet of containment boom and 2.3 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
  • More than 28.2 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
  • Approximately 1.65 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied—1.05 million on the surface and 601,000 sub-sea. More than 465,000 gallons are available.
  • 275 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of approximately 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 452 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently oiled—approximately 268 miles in Louisiana, 61 miles in Mississippi, 52 miles in Alabama, and 71 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 80,228 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. More than 66 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, France, Germany, Japan, 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 July 1, 2010 7 PM
 

In the Past 24 Hours

The President Receives a Briefing From Senior Officials on the BP Oil Spill Response
President Obama and Vice President Biden received a briefing today from National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner, and other senior administration officials on the BP oil spill.

Secretary Napolitano and Admiral Allen provided a situational update and an overview of available resources responding to the crises. The administration’s science team provided an update on oil containment efforts and plans to increase the capacity to capture more oil and eventually kill the well. The briefing also covered hurricane projections and their potential impacts on the response, the ongoing efforts to ensure seafood safety and the use of dispersants, and environmental impacts on wildlife, National Parks and other sensitive coastal shorelines and habitat. 

Admiral Allen and Robert Gibbs Provide Operational Update on the BP Oil Spill Response
National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen joined White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs at his daily 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.

The Coast Guard and EPA Send a Directive to BP on Oil Spill Waste Management
The Coast Guard and the EPA issued a directive to BP on how the company should manage recovered oil, contaminated materials and liquid and solid wastes recovered in cleanup operations from the BP oil spill—a measure taken in consultation with the states to hold BP accountable for the implementation of the approved waste management plans. Under the directive, EPA will begin sampling the waste, in addition to sampling already being done by BP, to help verify that the waste is being properly managed. For more information, click here.

78 Brown Pelicans Are Released Back to the Wild; 400 Birds Rehabilitated to Date
In the largest bird release since the BP oil spill began, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released 78 rehabilitated brown pelicans back to the wild at the Brunswick Coast Guard Station in Georgia. 400 rehabilitated birds have been released to date.

Wildlife rescue and recovery crews—including nearly 600 FWS personnel—continue to survey affected areas using vessels, airboats and helicopters. These missions are conducted routinely as well as under guidance of tips received via the Wildlife Hotline. To report oiled wildlife, call (866) 557-1401.

NOAA Ship Departs to Research the Effects of the Oil Spill on Endangered Whales
As part of continued efforts to engage the brightest scientific minds from across the federal government, academia and the private sector in the response to the BP oil spill, the NOAA ship Gordon Gunter departed today to continue its mission to evaluate the effects of the spill on whales and dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico, including the endangered sperm whale.

NOAA scientists will partner with leading researchers from Cornell University, Oregon State University, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and monitor the distributions and movements of whales over the next several months. The ship will also be measuring water characteristics and using acoustics to measure the amount of plankton, fish, and squid, the primary food for whales. For more information on NOAA vessels conducting scientific research, click here.

FWS, NOAA, FedEx and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Partner to Protect Sea Turtle Nests and Eggs
In a unique public-private partnership that demonstrates the unprecedented resources and coordination being brought to bear in response to the BP oil spill, FedEx Corporation is joining efforts to protect sea turtle nests and eggs in the Gulf of Mexico from potential oil spill impacts—donating resources and the expertise of logistics specialists to transport hundreds of nests containing thousands of eggs to Florida’s Atlantic Coast.
The company is coordinating efforts with scientists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA, state and local agencies, and the non-profit National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. 

Mobile and Florida Incident Commands Provide Local Operational Updates
Coast Guard Commander Joe Boudrow, Deputy Incident Commander for Florida, and Coast Guard Commander Charles Diorio of the Mobile Incident Command provided a briefing to inform local residents and answer questions about the ongoing response to the BP oil spill.

Boudrow and Diorio reported on the impact of weather on operations (elevated sea states have halted offshore skimming efforts in recent days); provided specifics on the amount of skimmers, boom and other resources deployed in their respective regions; and explained the various shoreline cleanup tactics that are used for different types of oil impacts. They also discussed oversight efforts to ensure that BP is giving local residents first priority when hiring for the Vessels of Opportunity program.

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—collecting oil aboard the Discoverer Enterprise, which is linked by a fixed riser pipe to the wellhead, and flaring off additional oil and gas on the Q4000, which is connected to the choke line. The collection capacity is expected to increase to an estimated 53,000 barrels per day once the third vessel, the Helix Producer, is connected to the floating riser pipe—a redundancy measure also taken at the administration’s direction.

Progress Continues in Drilling Relief Wells; Ranging Process Continues
The Development Driller III has drilled the first relief well to a depth of approximately 17,000 feet below the Gulf surface. The Development Driller II has drilled the second relief well—a redundancy measure taken at the direction of the administration—to a depth of more than 12,500 feet below the surface. BP continues 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.

Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Top $8.5 Million
SBA has approved 129 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $8.5 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 541 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $2.9 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, 89,916 claims have been opened, from which more than $137.8 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are 951 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, 1,573 are active.
  • Approximately 42,700 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
  • More than 7,000 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 2.78 million feet of containment boom and 4.94 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 813,000 feet of containment boom and 2.14 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
  • More than 28.2 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
  • Approximately 1.61 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied—1.03 million on the surface and 590,000 sub-sea. More than 506,000 gallons are available.
  • 275 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of approximately 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 428 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently oiled—approximately 259 miles in Louisiana, 52 miles in Mississippi, 46 miles in Alabama, and 71 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 80,228 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. More than 66 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, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization and the European Union's Monitoring and Information Centre.

 

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