Gulf clean up and evaluations continue at full tilt

Federal Agencies Introduce Online Mapping Tool to Track Gulf Response

The administration launched a new federal Web site, www.GeoPlatform.gov/gulfresponse/, designed to be a one-stop shop for detailed near-real-time information about the response to the BP oil spill and to facilitate communication and coordination among a variety of users?from federal, state and local responders to local community leaders and the public.The site incorporates data from the various agencies that are working together to tackle the spill?including NOAA, the Coast Guard, Fish and Wildlife Service, EPA, NASA, USGS, DHS and Gulf states?into one customizable interactive map.

Vessels of Opportunity Continues to Expand; Prioritizes Commercial Boats

To date, more than 2,300 vessels have been hired as part of the Vessels of Opportunity program, and are working aggressively in multiple shifts across the Gulf to perform a variety of important tasks, including deploying and monitoring containment boom, transporting equipment and personnel and surface and subsurface surveillance (looking for oil).The VOO program hires vessels of all sizes?with a priority placed on commercial vessels that make their living on the sea?to perform critical response tasks to mitigate the oil's impact on our vital shorelines. Compensation depends on the size of the vessel and ranges from $1,200-$3,000 per day. Crew members are paid $200 per eight-hour shift.Vessel owners interested in the VOO program should call the VOO Hotline at (866) 279-7983

NOAA, FDA Continue Ramping Up Efforts to Ensure Safety of Gulf of Mexico Seafood

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Food and Drug Administration are taking additional steps to enhance inspection measures designed to ensure that seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is safe and free from contamination by oil?including precautionary closures, increased seafood testing inspections and a re-opening protocol once closed areas meet FDA standards for public health and wholesomeness.The closed fisheries area now represents 78,264 square miles, which is approximately 32 percent of Gulf of Mexico federal waters. The closed area does not apply to any state waters. This leaves approximately 68 percent of Gulf federal waters available for fishing. Details can be found at //sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/. Fisherman and consumers are encouraged to report potential seafood safety issues to 1-888-INFO-FDA.

EPA Continues to Monitor Air, Water and Sediment Quality in the Gulf

According to the most recent data, the Environmental Protection Agency has found that air quality levels for ozone and particulates on the Gulf coastline are normal for this time of year.EPA has observed odor-causing pollutants associated with petroleum products in the air along the coastline at low levels. Some of these chemicals may cause short-lived effects, such as headache, nausea or eye, nose and throat irritation. People may be able to smell some of these chemicals at levels well below those that would cause short-term health problems. Anyone experiencing these and other symptoms should call the Medical Support Line at (888) 623-0287.EPA has deployed field teams to collect samples of oily debris, tar balls, mousse oil and other petroleum waste products that have washed up on the Gulf Coast shoreline. Preliminary results have shown chemical constituents that are usually found in petroleum products.

Fish and Wildlife Service Continues Monitoring, Rescue and Recovery Missions

The Fish and Wildlife Service continues to coordinate and supervise search and capture for oiled wildlife?conducting aerial flights to identify oiled wildlife and helping facilitate recovery and treatment, and leading 17 bird survey teams in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida to determine the extent of the oil impact on birds. FWS is training four additional teams for survey work in Texas, and has dispatched 456 staff to deal with Gulf response efforts.

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.

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 25,600 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
  • More than 5,400 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 2.35 million feet of containment boom and 3.2 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill?and approximately 485,000 feet of containment boom and 1.85 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
  • Approximately 20.4 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
  • Approximately 1.26 million gallons of total dispersant have been deployed?870,000 on the surface and 392,000 subsea. More than 525,000 gallons are available.
  • More than 192 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of more than 4.3 million gallons of oil from the open water in an effort to protect shoreline and wildlife
  • 17 staging areas are in place to protect sensitive shorelines.
  • Approximately 67.2 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently experiencing impacts from BP's leaking oil?34.6 miles in Louisiana, 7.5 miles in Mississippi, 11.7 miles in Alabama, and 10.4 miles in Florida.
  • Approximately 78,000 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. 68 percent remain open. Details can be found at //sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/.

Resources:

  • For specific information about the federal-wide response, visit //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 .
  • 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 //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 //www.fws.gov/home/dhoilspill/.
  • For daily updates on fishing closures, visit //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.┬áThose 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.
  • 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 set forth by Admiral Allen should contact the Joint Information Center.

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