DeepWater Horizon Response Info Regarding Oil Spill In Gulf

Prepared by the Joint Information Center
UPDATED May 9, 2010 6 PM
* For a full timeline of the Administration-wide response, visit the White House Blog.
Interior Department Announces Reforms to Enhance Oil and Gas Oversight
As part of an ongoing agenda to change the way the Department of the Interior does business, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a set of reforms that will provide federal inspectors more tools, more resources, more independence, and greater authority to enforce laws and regulations that apply to oil and gas companies operating on the Outer Continental Shelf. 

Salazar has also enlisted the National Academy of Engineering to provide a set of fresh eyes on the issues surrounding the Deepwater Horizonincident and an independent, science-based understanding of what happened.
NOAA Modifies Fishing Closed Areas in Gulf; 93 Percent Remains Open
NOAA’s Fisheries Service modified the area closed to fishing in the Gulf of Mexico due to the spill, which will include federal waters seaward of Louisiana state waters in the vicinity of Timbalier Island to waters off Florida’s Choctawhatchee Bay. These changes will leave more than 93 percent of the Gulf’s federal waters open for fishing, and supporting productive fisheries and tourism.
NOAA also will expedite updates to the areas closed to fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as public notice of those changes. The closure process is being improved to cut down on the red tape necessary to modify the boundaries of the closure area. Area boundaries could be modified daily, based on where and how fast the oil spill is moving. NOAA will provide daily updates at by 12 p.m. EDT.
Scientific Assets Continue to Join the Response
NASA mobilized its remote-sensing assets to help assess the spread and impact of the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico at the request of U.S. disaster response agencies. NASA has deployed its instrumented research aircraft the Earth Resources-2 (ER-2) to the Gulf. The agency is also making extra satellite observations and conducting additional data processing to assist the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Department of Homeland Security in monitoring the spill.
Top Fisheries Scientist Dispatched
As part of its ongoing efforts to protect consumers, NOAA is sending one of its top fisheries science directors to the Gulf this week to lead its effort to rapidly assess, test and report findings about risks posed to fish in the Gulf of Mexico by contaminants from the BP oil spill and clean-up activities.
NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) Director Nancy Thompson, Ph.D, will head to Pascagoula, Miss., to lead NOAA’s response team. Thompson will work closely with Bonnie Ponwith, Ph.D., the director at the agency’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center, who is leading an intensified effort to monitor and assess the spill’s effects on important species in the Gulf of Mexico.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Community Liaison Dispatched
White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Advisor on Community Engagement Miya Chen is joining the Area Unified Command Center in Robert, La., to assess the immediate needs of the Asian American community.
The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and NIEHS are monitoring BP and its contractors to ensure that every worker receives necessary training in the worker’s language, as OSHA regulations require.
The National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is collaborating with BP to provide Vietnamese-language translators and trainers. Vietnamese, Cambodian and Taiwanese translations of the BP Vessels of Opportunity fishing contracts is being provided at the Venice Community Center. BP has hired a local Vietnamese liaison officer and is contracting additional office support and translation.
OSHA Develops Multi-Lingual Worker Guides
OSHA is developing pocket-sized health and safety guides for cleanup workers and volunteers. Guides available in English should be ready by this weekend and guides in Spanish and Vietnamese should be ready for distribution early next week.
Leak Plug Tactic Approved by MMS
MMS approved the methanol injection to prevent hydrate formation in the “top hat” structure. The top hat should be on site by mid-week after modifications are made.
DOD Transports Boom and Equipment from Alaska
Following approval by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for assistance, several commercial aircraft and numerous C-17 aircraft commenced missions to transport 150,000 feet of BP pollution response boom and approximately 250 short tons of Navy salvage equipment commenced movement from Anchorage, Alaska, to New Orleans.
By the Numbers to Date:
Personnel were quickly deployed and approximately 13,000 are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife.
More than 460 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.
Approximately 1.4 million feet of boom (regular and sorbent) have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 1.4 million feet are available.
Approximately 3.6 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
Approximately 372,000 gallons of dispersant have been deployed. More than 180,000 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, Al., Theodore, Al., Pass Christian, Ms., Amelia, La., and Cocodrie, La.).
For information about the response effort, visit
For specific information about the federal-wide response, visit
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, visit
For National Park Service updates about potential park closures, resources at risk, and NPS actions to protect vital park space and wildlife, visit
For daily updates on fishing closures, visit
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


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2 comments on “DeepWater Horizon Response Info Regarding Oil Spill In Gulf
  1. vrezh akopyan says:

    Oil Spill in the Gulf How to block the spill?
    The severity and seriousness of this catastrophe forces me to act…
    I contacted BP over a week ago and got an email with directing me to use pdf form…. Filled PDF with this idea. I also left my comments at under Val Gabr user, which is not where I usually get my news from (I watch foxnews channel daily)
    I also posted my suggestion at Wikipedia on May 24th 2010, however Wiki deleted my suggestion/idea under pretext of copyright conflict with where I left my comments with this idea, so this is BS of course….and taking into account seriousness of the situation it is simply stupid.
    Anyway, here is the description of this basic idea
    Use the pressure from the oil field itself to block the pipe on the inside i.e. use the pressure to our advantage. Requirements are as follows:
    A plug should be easy to manufacture, easy to deliver and easy to insert, however should be hard to get out (has to get stuck in the pipe to do its work)
    What can match such a requirement? Inflatable balloon-plug that is small enough before being inflated and can be easily delivered and inserted inside the pipe and by being inflated it will block the passage of oil. Different ways can be employed…one of them inflatable plug that can look like a balloon in the form of a ball or better yet in the shape of a sausage to have more surface friction with the pipe.
    The water is the first candidate as it is in abundance around and does not need to be brought from somewhere else and can be pumped into that plug via the hose, then inflated and the pressure from oil pipe will try to push it out and plug the exit on the inside. I am aware of the fact that Oil rigs pump water to substitute for released oil from the subterranean fields as it is…if true this can be re-used for this purpose in the future as well. This should be at least looked at by BP engineers as I believe it is feasible and can be done with less efforts and money. Mud will be just pushed out the pipe…BP is wrong with this approach, however with the plug I described AND the mud behind it MIGHT Work…
    Vrezh Akopyan Seattle, WA
    P.S. Please forward this if you could to the correct officials or BP itself. I sent this already to White house however with the amount of emails, I don’t believe I can get to anyone these days.

  2. oil spills can really mess up the environment, i hope we can find a very good solution to control oil spills :~”

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