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The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill: May 27, 2010

The Joint Information Center provides an update from the Gulf Coast on the ongoing Administration-wide response to the Deepwater BP oil spill.

Ed. Note: For more information on federal response resources, volunteer opportunities, and assistance for those in affected areas visit

Below is the latest in the ongoing Administration-wide response provided by the Joint Information Center.  

Heidi Avery is White House Deputy Homeland Security Advisor

The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill
Prepared by the Joint Information Center
UPDATED May 27, 2010 7 PM

In the Past 24 Hours

The President Updates the American People on the Spill and the Government’s Response
The President updated the American people on the status of the BP oil spill. The President said the federal government is directing the effort to contain and cleanup the damage from the spill—which is now the largest effort of its kind in U.S. history. The President also discussed what the government is doing to help the men and women whose livelihoods have been disrupted and even destroyed by this spill as well as the steps he is taking to ensure that a catastrophe like this never happens again.  His full remarks can be found here.

BP’s “Top Kill” Procedure Continues
BP continued its attempted “top kill” procedure to cap the well. The procedure has been approved by the Coast Guard, acting on the validation of government scientists and in consultation with the National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen.

Federal-Independent-Academic Team Releases Initial Flow Rate Assessment
The National Incident Command’s Flow Rate Technical Group (FRTG) has developed an independent, preliminary estimate of the amount of oil flowing from BP’s leaking oil well.
The independent analysis of the Flow Rate Technical Group has determined that the overall best initial estimate for the lower and upper boundaries of flow rates of oil is in the range of 12,000 and 19,000 barrels per day.    

The FRTG used three separate methodologies to calculate their initial estimate, available here, which they deemed the most scientifically-sound approach, because measurement of the flow of oil is extremely challenging, given the environment, unique nature of the flow, limited visibility, and lack of human access to BP’s leaking oil well.

Since day one, the Administration’s deployments of resources and tactics in response to the BP oil spill have been based on a worst-case, catastrophic scenario, and have not been contained by flow rate estimates.

Boom is Surged to Coastal Areas Experiencing Greatest Oil Impact
More than 100,000 feet of boom has been surged to the Louisiana parishes that are facing the greatest risk from the oil.

Admiral Allen Approves a Section of Louisiana’s Barrier Island Proposal
Admiral Allen, approved the implementation of a section of Louisiana’s barrier island project proposal that could help stop oil from coming ashore and where work could be completed the fastest—as an integrated part of the federal response to the BP oil spill.

This step will save Louisiana the cost of construction for this section by integrating it with the federal government’s ongoing oil spill response—thus paving the road for payment by BP, as a responsible party, or the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

It will also allow assessment of the effectiveness and environmental impacts of this strategy in one of the areas most at risk of long-term impact by BP's leaking oil.

The President is Briefed on the Outlook for the 2010 Hurricane Season
President Obama was briefed by FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco and National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read, as well as five FEMA Regional Administrators adding their local prospective, on the outlook for hurricane season and the federal government’s efforts to prepare all federal partners, state and local governments, the private sector and the public for hurricanes and other emergencies.

The President stressed that the government must ensure we consider the effects the BP oil spill could have on storms, response capabilities, and recovery efforts in planning for this year’s season but that those considerations do not change the primary mission of emergency management officials during a response, which is to support state efforts to protect lives and property.  

Successful Controlled Burn
Favorable weather conditions allowed responders to conduct a successful controlled burn operation. As part of a coordinated response that combines tactics deployed above water, below water, offshore, and close to coastal areas, controlled burns efficiently remove oil from the open water in an effort to protect shoreline and wildlife.

Community Town Halls Held
Representatives from Coast Guard, EPA, Department of Commerce BP and state and local officials participated in town hall meetings in Pascagoula, Miss., Pensacola, Fla., and Gulf Port, Miss., to provide an update on the response to Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill and continue the dialogue with members of the community, local business leaders and other organizations.

By the Numbers to Date:

  • Personnel were quickly deployed and approximately 20,000 are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife.
  • Approximately 1,300 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 1.88 million feet of containment boom and 1.25 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 280,000 feet of containment boom and 1 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
  • Approximately 11.5 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
  • Approximately 850,000 gallons of total dispersant have been deployed—700,000 on the surface and 150,000 subsea. More than 400,000 gallons are available.
  • 17 staging areas are in place and ready to protect sensitive shorelines, including: Dauphin Island, Ala., Orange Beach, Ala., Theodore, Ala., Panama City, Fla., Pensacola, Fla.,  Port St. Joe, Fla., St. Marks, Fla.,  Amelia, La., Cocodrie, La., Grand Isle, La., Shell Beach, La., Slidell, La., St. Mary, La.; Venice, La., Biloxi, Miss., Pascagoula, Miss., and Pass Christian, Miss.