Thursday, July 22, 2010

Oil Spill News

Oil spill found in field inside AK wildlife refuge

SOLDOTNA, Alaska (AP) - An estimated 630 gallons of oil have spilled in a pipeline corridor on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in south-central Alaska.

The Department of Environmental Conservation says a survey crew discovered the spill in the Swanson River Oil Field Tuesday. Chevron notified authorities and shut down its active crude line in the area.
KTUU Reports

Reports like this one is why we need to rethink drilling here in the United States, whether is on land or in the sea. This particular incident is not the first nor will it be the last of these "accidental spills" and we have either got to find a way to stop this from happening or stop the drilling.

Judge halts oil, gas development on Chukchi Sea

NCHORAGE, Alaska -- A federal judge in Anchorage has blocked federal offshore oil drilling leases in the Chukchi Sea. Oil companies may be disappointed, but some villages on the North Slope and environmental groups call Wednesday's decision a victory.

U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline's ruling -- that the federal government failed to follow environmental law when it granted billions of dollars in leases in the Chukchi Sea -- isn't the final decision in the matter, but it could have major impacts on future drilling in the area.

"While the ruling is disappointing, the judge did not vacate the lease sale," said Shell Oil spokesperson Curtis Smith.

The decision is seen as a win for the environmental groups and villages on the North Slope who sued, saying not enough scientific research on drilling in the area has been completed.

"There are some places we need to protect that are too important to drill in," said Carole Holley with Pacific Environment. "People are paying $10 a gallon for milk -- how are they supposed to have the resources in place to do a search-and-rescue operation if people are killed on an exploratory rig? Nothing is in place to take care of a spill of this sort in the Arctic."


Florida Updates July 21 2010

Current Situation:

Florida beaches are open.

Currently Deepwater Horizon is not discharging any oil into the Gulf of Mexico. BP well integrity testing is ongoing and active monitoring continues. Progress continues on the two relief wells.

This event has been designated a Spill of National Significance.

Unified Area Command continues with a comprehensive oil well intervention andspill response planning following the April 22 sinking of the Transocean Deepwater Horizon drilling rig 130 miles southeast of New Orleans.

More than 42,500 personnel are working the on and offshore response.
Oil-water mix recovered: nearly 34.5 million gallons.
Response vessels available: more than 6,491
Response aircraft available: 120
Dispersant: more than 1.84 million gallons deployed.
There is no planned use of dispersants in Florida waters.
Florida Specific:

FDEP announced the removal of supplemental Tier 3 boom within the next 72 to 96 hours in the Panhandle counties in light of potential tropical activity. The removed boom and equipment will be temporarily stored to prevent damage and will be redeployed as conditions permit.

Tar balls, tar mats and light sheen continue to be reported in Northwest Florida.

Isolated impacts will be possible in Northwest Florida over the next 72 hours.

Five state-leased skimmers remain on standby in Northwest Florida to protect sensitive inland water bodies. These skimmers are operating out of Escambia, Okaloosa, Bay, Gulf and Franklin Counties.

Pensacola Pass and Perdido Pass may be closed with incoming tides.

Oil Containment Boom (in feet) total: 797,261 deployed in Florida.Tier 1 & Tier 2: 481,000 / Tier 3: 316,261 In accordance with established plans, protective booming, staging, and boom maintenance is being conducted along the coast from Escambia to Franklin.272 vessels are deployed in Florida for the Vessels of Opportunity program.

940 Qualified Community Responders are working in the Florida Panhandle.

Federal Fishery closure, west of Cape San Blas to state line. (see NOAA FB10-060)

In addition to $100,000 for Volunteer Florida to maintain a volunteer registration database, BP has issued over $75 million in grants to Florida for booming, tourism advertising, and state preparedness and response efforts. An additional $500,000 has been issued by BP to fund innovative technology solutions for Okaloosa Cty.

BP claims in Florida total 31,973 with approximately $ 41,273,901.34 paid.

Florida Information Lines:

The Florida Oil Spill Information Line (FOSIL) is available from 8am-6pm EDT daily.

English – (888) 337-3569 / TDD – (800) 955-8771 / Voice – (800) 955-8770
Spanish – (877) 955-8773
Haitian Creole – (877) 955-8707
For general health/exposures information questions related to the oil spill, contact the Florida Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222.

Two public hotline numbers for oil spill investigation and cleanup:

Impacted Wildlife: (866) 557-1401
Oiled Shoreline: (877) 2-SAVE-FL or #DEP for cellular devices
The Florida Department of State has established a hotline for archeological, historical preservation, and tribal lands that may be impacted by the Deepwater Horizon incident: (850) 245-6530.

To confirm legitimate charities and determine if an organization is registered with the state, call Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) (800) 435-7352 or

Information Websites:

Volunteer registration: and click “Register to Help”

Health advisories:

State sampling data:

GATOR web mapping application:

Recovery related jobs:

NOAA GeoPlatform, response management application:

State Actions:

State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) is at a Level 1 (Full), operating from 0700 to 1800 EDT, with Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) as the lead agency.

Governor’s Executive Orders 10-99, 10-100, 10-106 and 10-132 declared a state of emergency for identified Florida coastal counties.

Governor’s Executive Order 10-101 established the Gulf Oil Spill Economic Recovery Task Force, which will facilitate efforts by Florida businesses and industries to recover the loss of commerce and revenues due to the oil spill.

Conducting daily conference calls with county and emergency management partners, the Federal On-Scene Coordinator, and various Unified Commands.
A portion of coastal state waters offshore of Escambia County is closed to the harvest of saltwater fish, crabs and shrimp.

A SERT Toxicological Data Analysis Cell is providing consistent scientific assessments of collected sampling to inform local/state decision making.

The Agency for Workforce Innovation and Regional Workforce Boards are identifying and filling jobs related to the oil spill: 13,949 positions advertised; 42,976 applicants referred.

124 Florida National Guard personnel on duty at various duty posts in the Deepwater Horizon area of operations.

19,680 volunteers have registered to respond to Deepwater Horizon. 23,873 volunteer hours have been worked.

AmeriCorps, National Civilian Community Corps members are assisting with models for a community-run Citizen Information Station (CIS).

Conducting daily reconnaissance flights and shoreline patrol from Escambia to Franklin Counties for impact. Real time reconnaissance reports are being entered into GATOR.

Currently, Florida’s coast has 9 decontamination sites for response vessels and 8 that are being operated for commercial vessels. A site for recreational vessel decontamination has also been established and 13 additional recreational vessel sites are in negotiations with BP.

Florida Releases July 21, 2010 Gulf Oil Spill Situation Update

I continue to wonder why it is we allow the drilling we do. The amount of money we get in royalites is negligible in comparison to what we end up paying anyway because our consumption far outstrips our production. What we can find here in the states and in our local waters doesn't begin to make a dent in the supply of oil and it's products that we demand, so why are we risking our environment for such a small return financially and with such a high cost to us when these spills do occur?

We don't get to "keep" the oil & use it here anyway. It goes onto the world market and then we simply get our oil in the same place as everyone else does.

Doesn't "reducing our dependency on foreign oil" really boil down to reducing our demand for oil? As long as we demand the amount of oil and gas that we do, we are going to be dependent upon foreign nations for that oil. That is no more than a simple fact.

Reducing our demand is what will reduce our dependency.

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