WASHINGTON D.C. -- As oil from the Deepwater Horizon incident continues to threaten the environment, US President Barack Obama has dispatched key members of the administration to the Gulf Coast to monitor the situation. The Secretaries of Interior and Homeland Security, as well as the Administrator of the EPA, the Assistant for Energy and Climate Change Policy, and the NOAA Administrator were scheduled today to conduct an aerial tour of the affected area in the Gulf of Mexico to view the ongoing cleanup and containment efforts.
“I've order Secretary Salazar to conduct a thorough review of this incident and report back to me in 30 days on what, if any, additional precautions and technologies should be required to prevent accidents like this from happening again,” Obama said in remarks at the White House.
Teams have been dispatched to inspect all deepwater rigs and platform to address safety concerns. The EPA also is on site to monitor the air quality from the controlled burn.
“I continue to believe that domestic oil production is an important part of our overall strategy for energy security, but I've always said it must be done responsibly, for the safety of our workers, and our environment,” Obama said.
Five staging areas to protect the shoreline are in place in Biloxi, Mississippi; Pensacola, Florida; Venice, Louisiana; Pascagoula, Mississippi; and Theodore, Alabama. A sixth staging area is being set up in Port Sulphur, Louisiana.
More than 217,000 ft of inflatable boom (barrier) has been assigned to contain the spill, and an additional 305,760 ft is available, according to the unified command center. To date, 20,313 bbl of an oil-water mix has been recovered. Seventy-five response vessels are being used including skimmers, tugs, barges, and recovery vessels. And 139,459 gallons of dispersant have been deployed and an additional 51,000 gallons are available.
Officials yesterday reported that an estimated 5,000 b/d of oil was leaking from the well. A BP-lead team continues to evaluate options to stop the leak including the drilling of a relief well.
A crew of 126 people were on theDeepwater Horizon when the incident occurred on April 20; 11 remain unaccounted for; 17 were injured, three of them critically, and one injured person remains in the hospital.