BP/Gulf Oil Gusher

Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill, September 7, 2010

Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–September 7, 2010.


No Dead Zones Observed or Expected as Part of BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

NOAA, EPA and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released a report today that showed dissolved oxygen levels have dropped by about 20 percent from their long-term average in the Gulf of Mexico in areas where federal and independent scientists previously reported the presence of subsurface oil. These dissolved oxygen levels, measured within 60 miles of the wellhead, have stabilized and are not low enough to become “dead zones”—or an area of very low dissolved oxygen that cannot support most life.

Scientists from agencies involved in the report attribute the lower dissolved oxygen levels to microbes using oxygen to consume the oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Since the Deepwater Horizon incident began, EPA and NOAA have systematically monitored dissolved oxygen levels along with other parameters from the sea surface to about 5,000 feet deep near the spill site. Data from 419 locations sampled on multiple expeditions by nine ships over a three-month period, were analyzed for this report.

All Operational Hard Boom Removed from Mississippi, Alabamaand the Florida Panhandle

All of the hard (containment) boom deployed as part of the federal-led response but now potentially posing more risk than it offers protection for vital shorelines in MississippiAlabama and the Florida Panhandle has now been recovered. The Incident Command Post (ICP) at Mobile announced that more than 1.6 million feet of hard boom has been removed from those state waters. Crews are currently in the process of removing the remaining fragments of storm-damaged hard boom from areas where it was stranded.

The ICP in Mobile worked with federal, state and local officials to remove the hard boom due to the fact that no visible oil has been spotted on the surface of the Gulf in these areas recently. Additionally, with the height of hurricane season, the boom could damage environmentally sensitive lands or become a hazard during high winds or seas of a hurricane or tropical storm. Removed boom is being inspected, cleaned, repaired and stored at sites along the Gulf Coast for redeployment should the need arise. Response branches inLouisiana are currently working with local partners to identify unneeded boom in that state for removal.

Director Bromwich Continues Series of Fact-Finding Forums

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement Director Michael R. Bromwich hosted the sixth in a series of public forums in Houston, Texas—designed to collect information and views from academia; the environmental community; federal, state and local officials; and the oil and gas industry on technical issues related to deepwater drilling safety reforms, well containment, and oil spill response.

Director Bromwich will consider this feedback in evaluating whether to recommend any modifications to the scope or duration of the deepwater drilling suspensions announced by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on July 12. Previous meetings were held in New OrleansLa.MobileAla.Pensacola,FlaSanta BarbaraCalifornia; and AnchorageAlaska.

FWS Personnel Continue Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Missions Across the Region

From HoumaLa., Incident Command Post, 169 personnel and 47 vessels have been deployed for reconnaissance and recovery operations, responding to 38 calls on the Wildlife Hot Line. From the MobileAla., Incident Command Post, 22 two-person teams and 12 vessels participated in reconnaissance and wildlife rescue and recovery missions, responding to 21 calls. To report oiled wildlife, call (866) 557-1401.

Shoreline Cleanup Operations Continue Along the Gulf Coast

As part of continued efforts to protect wildlife and wildlife habitats from the impacts of the BP oil spill, FWS and National Parks Service cleanup crews continued shoreline cleanup operations at Gulf Islands National Seashore and at FWS refuges—removing oil debris from Horn Island (3,200 lbs), Petit BoisIsland (2,500 lbs) and Perdido Beach (1,249 lbs).

Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Surpass $25.6 Million

SBA has approved 295 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $25.6 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 908 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $5 million per month in payments. For information on assistance loans for affected businesses, visit the SBA’s Web site atwww.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance, call (800) 659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), or email [email protected].

Independent Gulf Coast Claims Facility Disbursements Surpass $54.7 Million

Since the BP oil spill response began, the administration has worked to hold the responsible parties accountable for repairing the damage, and repaying Americans who have suffered a financial loss—first by directing BP to improve its claims process and then by establishing the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), the independent agency administered by Kenneth Feinberg which was formed in June as part of an agreement between the Obama Administration and BP.

To date, 46,982 claims have been opened through the GCCF, from which more than $54.7 million have been disbursed—in addition to the more than 150,000 claims filed and $395 million disbursed through the BP claims process. For information on how to file a claim, visit the Gulf Coast Claims Facility Web site. Additional information about the 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, 1,056 are active.
  • More than 25,500 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
  • Approximately 3,550 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 1.41 million feet of containment boom* and 9.39 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 3.05 million feet of containment boom and 2.53 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
  • More than 34.7 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
  • Approximately 1.84 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied—1.07 million on the surface and 771,000 sub-sea. Approximately 577,000 gallons are available.
  • 411 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of more than 11.14 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.
  • 15 staging areas are in place to protect sensitive shorelines.
  • Approximately 114 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently experiencing moderate to heavy oil impacts—approximately 103 miles in Louisiana, 9 miles in Mississippi and 2 miles in Florida. Approximately 500 miles of shoreline are experiencing light to trace oil impacts—approximately 236 miles in Louisiana, 93 miles in Mississippi, 59 miles in Alabama, and 112 miles in Florida. These numbers reflect a daily snapshot 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 39,885 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. Approximately 83 percent is now 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 Argentina, Belgium, Canada, China, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, 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.

*The decrease in boom numbers is due to the continued recovery of displaced boom. Once recovered, this boom must be decontaminated, repaired, inspected, and certified before being staged or redeployed. New boom is being deployed in some areas.


Source: deepwaterhorizonresponse.com