There is still obvious concern over potential ‘leaks’ or ‘seeps’ of methane gas from BP’s damaged oil well. In spite of this concern, Admiral Allen continues to monitor the well with the cap in place after the US backs off an order they issued to BP Sunday night. Due to concern over pressure readings, among other concerns, the US sent a letter to BP demanding they prepare to open the cap that has temporarily stopped the massive oil leak. The US is trying to prevent further damage that could impede plans for ‘killing’ the well permanently ending the ordeal that is going on 3 months. There seems to be concern about merely trusting BP’s data. It would seem that the US government is done trusting, and is now requiring verification of facts.
National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen released the following statement on the well integrity test:
“Yesterday I sent BP a letter stating that there were a number of unanswered questions about the monitoring systems they committed to as a condition of the US government extending the well integrity test. Last night a conference call between the federal science team and BP representatives was convened to discuss some specific issues, including the detection of a seep near the well and the possible observation of methane over the well. During the conversation, the federal science team got the answers they were seeking and the commitment from BP to meet their monitoring and notification obligations.
“Ongoing monitoring and full analysis of both the seepage and methane will continue in coordination with the science team. I authorized BP to continue the integrity test for another 24 hours and I restated our firm position that this test will only continue if they continue to meet their obligations to rigorously monitor for any signs that this test could worsen the overall situation. At any moment, we have the ability to return to the safe containment of the oil on the surface until the time the relief well is completed and the well is permanently killed.”
Admiral Allen also provided an update on the progress of the well integrity test and response efforts, reiterating the President’s message on the importance of scientific monitoring of pressures in the wellbore and, ultimately, that the relief wells are still needed to kill the well.
Admiral Allen Tells BP to Join Local Response Team in Each State
As part of the federal government’s continued efforts to ensure that additional responsibility for BP oil spill response plans and actions is placed at the state and local levels, Admiral Allen has told BP to ensure that representatives are in place no later than July 20 alongside state and federal commanders in each affected state in order to further expedite projects and response activities to protect shoreline and recover oil.
These BP representatives must have the ability to commit BP resources for response activities. While local coordination is already occurring between federal, state and BP representatives, this will formalize and clarify these roles, and ensure they remain in place for the long term.
“Throughout this unprecedented and evolving event, we have marshaled the largest response in our nation’s history and we have continued to adapt and evolve this response at every turn as the disaster itself has unfolded. Over the past several weeks, control over federal planning and tactical operations in each state has been delegated to the Coast Guard Deputy Incident Commanders, and this authority will be exercised in coordination with their Governor-appointed state counterparts. To achieve even more control over this response at the state level, a BP representative must work with the group to ensure that decisions that are made can be carried out quickly and efficiently.”
Adm. Thad Allen
Progress Continues in Drilling Relief Wells
The drilling of relief wells continues. The Development Driller III resumed drilling operations, which were temporarily put on hold in order to avoid interference with the well integrity test, and has drilled the first relief well to a depth of 17,864 feet below the Gulf surface. The Development Driller II has drilled the second relief well—a redundancy measure taken at the direction of the administration—to a depth of more than 15,960 feet below the surface.
- For information about the response effort, visit www.RestoreTheGulf.gov.
- For specific information about the federal-wide response, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/deepwater-bp-oil-spill.
- For information about validated environmental air and water sampling results, visit www.epa.gov/bpspill.
- For Fish and Wildlife Service updates about response along the Gulf Coast and the status of national wildlife refuges, visit http://www.fws.gov/home/dhoilspill/.
Just in case you are curious about the totals so far about wildlife and the impact they have felt, here is a report that shows how many creatures have been killed, and how many are in a rehabilitation center. These number does not take into account how many are simply ‘lost at sea’ and will never be counted. Go to the link: Consolidated Fish and Wildlife Collection Report – 19 July 2010 (PDF doc)
Meanwhile, here in Gilbert – with the monsoon storm we had last night – came just enough wind and rain to create frizzy hair, dirty cars, and a stray baby dove named ‘Delilah’ who is now in my care.
‘Delilah’ must have fallen from her home, where she came upon the front doorstep of someone who unwittingly attracts stray things in need of help (me). Knowing I would not/could not turn away a creature in need, in came Delilah. She is currently residing in a box in my den. She does not chatter, she is not bossy, she is not moody, and she doesn’t steal my toothpaste when I am not looking. So far, she is my favorite housemate!
She enjoys oatmeal mash, peanut butter (the smooth kind), water, and sitting in a sunny window (in her box), in my den. I grew up with a mother who’s doorstep was also the preferred landing spot for strays in need of help, so caring for a baby bird is in my DNA.
However, if you are not so inclined – and you have your own version of a ‘Delilah’, Gilbert/East Valley residents can contact small bird rescue and retirement, or Arizona Exotic Bird Rescue, or Southwest Wildlife Rescue. Surely, if they can’t help you, they’ll be able to point you in the right direction.
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Sources: NOAA.gov, deepwaterhorizon.com, photobucket.com, TLCsThoughts.com