The U.S. Coast Guard begins burning oil leaking from the site of an offshore oil rig that exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Environmental Protection Agency EPA.gov website (see also deepwaterhorizonresponse.com) is providing information regarding the April 20 incident in the US Gulf of Mexico involving a Transocean drilling Rig Deep Water Horizon. The Horizon was engaged in drilling activity on behalf of BP at Mississippi Canyon Block 252, about 52 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana.
BP is assisting in the response and has staffed up its Houston crisis center to provide support for the response.
Coast Guard is the lead management agency for the disaster. EPA is generally the Command center moved to Louisiana.
Air monitoring program has been setup. Aircraft are also collecting air quality data.
Additional controlled burns likely in the future.
British Petroleum is paying for the cleanup.
The increased government urgency followed the discovery of a new leak that officials said meant a fivefold increase in the amount of oil, to 5,000 barrels or more than 200,000 gallons a day, pouring out from the debris of a sunken rig. Previously only 42,000 gallons per day were estimated to be leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.
Compared to Valdez took four summer to clean up after 11 million gallon spill. Speculators are claiming that the Valdez spill will pale in comparison to this disaster.
Areas of the Louisiana coast are expected to be affected with first impacts tonight, Friday, and Saturday. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency amid the forecasts that parts of the oil slick may reach parts of the Louisiana coastline later Thursday.
Southeast winds expected through Tuesday and higher tides than normal are expected — both occurrences are bad news.
BP and the Federal Government have established hotlines for members of the public:
To report oiled or injured wildlife,
please call 1-866-557-1401.
To discuss spill related damage claims,
please call 1-800-440-0858.
To report oil on land, or for general Community and Volunteer Information,
please call 1-866-448-5816.
See also …