GULF COAST–(ENEWSPF)–May 13, 2010, 7 PM Update
PAST 24 HOURS
Secretary Salazar Announces First Steps in MMS Restructuring
As the federal government continues its relentless response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill and investigates the cause of the explosion and oil spill, Secretary Salazar directed Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget Rhea Suh and Senior Advisor Chris Henderson to oversee a restructuring of the Minerals Management Service that will ensure the independence of the agency’s inspections and enforcement mission.
Secretary Salazar also sent a letter to Congressional leaders asking for their ideas and input on his plan to reform the agency.
Officials Inspect Rig Preparing to Drill Relief Well
National Incident Commander and Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen and Federal On-Scene Coordinator Rear Admiral Mary Landry inspected the Development Driller II, which is set to begin drilling the second relief well shortly to permanently cap the leaking well.
BP’s “Top Hat” Containment System Approaches Completion
MMS reports that BP has approached completion of the “top hat” containment system, and expects an update from BP as early as tomorrow on its operational status.
Community Town Hall Held in Port Sulpher and Dulac, La.
Representatives from the Coast Guard, EPA, NOAA, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Labor, the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry and BP participated town hall meetings in Port Sulpher and Dulac, La., to provide an update on the response to the oil spill and continue the dialogue with members of the community, local business leaders and other organizations.
Shoreline Cleanup Teams Continue to Assess Impact
Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Teams (SCAT) surveyed 19 miles of Dauphin Island, Ala., and the Jackson County shoreline with minimal tarball findings. An additional five teams were deployed to Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge to recovery tarballs.
The Department of the Interior has deployed 568 total personnel to the affected area to assist in cleanup, wildlife protection and rehabilitation, and shoreline assessment efforts.
Unified Area Command Continues to Build Web and New Media Engagement
The Unified Area Command in Robert, La., continues to grow its public engagement via its website (www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com), which has received more than 19 million hits since it was launched on April 23, as well as Facebook (18,277 users) and Twitter (3,707 followers). These resources contain information about response efforts, jobs, volunteer opportunities, impacts to wildlife and other important public information.
DOD Aircraft Conduct Dispersant Spray Missions
The Department of Defense’s Modular Aerial Spray System (MASS) aircraft flew multiple missions—dispensing the same dispersant chemicals being used by BP and federal responders. These systems are capable of covering up to 250 acres per flight, and flights are coordinated with the EPA and the State of Louisiana to ensure all environmental concerns are addressed. Since MASS flights began on May 1, a total of 47 missions have been flown and nearly 70,000 gallons of dispersant have been applied.
National Guard Support Continues to Build
1,304 National Guard personnel are currently supporting oil response—952 from the Louisiana National Guard are providing Command and Control and sandbagging support to St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes, supporting marina operations and conducting HAZMAT training; 323 from the Alabama National Guard are deploying protective barriers around Dauphin Island and conducting sandbag and security operations; 25 from the Mississippi National Guard personnel are providing helicopter support and liaison officers to aid local officials with emergency response; and four from the Florida National Guard are performing liaison duties in support of the response effort to the Unified Command Center in Alabama and to its own emergency operations center in Tallahassee.
Five Oil Platforms Have Been Evacuated to Ensure Health and Safety
A total of five platforms have been evacuated in order to ensure the safety and health of rig workers. Estimated oil production shut-in is 2,300 barrels a day (0.14 percent of the Gulf ‘s oil production) and approximately 1.2 million cubic feet of gas (0.02 percent of the Gulf’s gas production).
Joint Bird Rescue Operations Are Dispatched
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and the National Parks Services dispatched a joint boat operation to Horn Island, Miss., to recover potentially oiled wildlife and transport them to a wildlife rehabilitation center for treatment. Treatment and rehabilitation operations are also ongoing on Chandeleur Island.
By the Numbers to Date:
– Personnel were quickly deployed and approximately 13,000 are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife.
– More than 520 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.
– More than 1.4 million feet of boom (regular and sorbent) have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 1 million feet are available.
– Approximately 5 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
– Approximately 476,000 gallons of dispersant have been deployed. More than 217,000 gallons are available.
– 14 staging areas have been set up to protect vital shoreline in all potentially affected Gulf Coast states (Biloxi, Miss., Pascagoula, Miss., Pensacola, Fla., Panama City, Fla., Dauphin Island, Ala., Grand Isle, La., Shell Beach, La., Slidell, La., Venice, La., Orange Beach, Ala., Theodore, Ala., Pass Christian, Miss., Amelia, La., and Cocodrie, La.).
– 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, visitwww.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 daily updates on fishing closures, visit http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov.
– To file a claim, or report spill-related damage, call BP’s helpline at (800) 440-0858. A BP fact sheet with additional information is available here. For 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.
For information about the response effort, visit www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.