President Obama and Administration Tour Oil Spilled Areas of Louisiana,
Vowing To Do "Whatever It Takes, For As Long As It Takes"
The president and EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson concluded the tour of areas that could be impacted by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
"Local responders and EPA staff in our Emergency Operations Center at headquarters are working around to clock to assess and confront human health concerns, mitigate immediate environmental impacts, and prepare for the long-term effects of the BP Spill. We continue to offer the fullest measure of support to the ongoing response effort,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.
"Even in the face of unprecedented challenges, I have been inspired by the hard work and outpouring of support from the local community and around the country. The people of the Gulf Coast -- even at a time of considerable anxiety and anger -- have stepped up to assist the response and lift each other up. Their example of hopeful persistence and hard work are the standards we must meet as we continue to address the BP Spill."
The EPA claims to be fully engaged in the response to the spill, working around the clock to support the inter-agency Administration-wide response efforts. The Agency is currently conducting air monitoring in the region to determine how the oil fumes are impacting air quality, and is helping to assess the spill’s impact on coastal areas.
The spill is now about nine miles off the coast of southeastern Louisiana
On Friday, EPA launched a website – www.epa.gov/bpspill - to keep the public informed about the impact of the spill and the EPA’s response.
Additional information on the broader response from the U.S. Coast Guard and other responding agencies is available at: http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.
A press conference will be held later today with U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry, Minerals Management Service Gulf of Mexico Head of Field Operations Mike Saucier, BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles. Representatives from the Department of Fish and Wildlife, NOAA, and Transocean to provide current updates on the cleanup.
The oil spill has prompted the closing of portions of the Mississippi River where fishing was prevalent.
Harlon Pearce, Chairman, Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board said the closing of the federal waters off the coast of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and part of Florida is a necessary action to insure the citizens of the United States and abroad that our seafood will maintain the highest level of quality from the Gulf of Mexico.
President Obama while visiting the Gulf Coast inspected response operations firsthand, underscoring the administration’s all-hands-on-deck response to protect the coastline of the Gulf states, adding that from the onset of the spill, his administration was prepared and planning for the worst.
"So I want to emphasize, from day one we have prepared and planned for the worst, even as we hoped for the best. And while we have prepared and reacted aggressively, I'm not going to rest -- and none of the gentlemen and women who are here are going to rest -- or be satisfied until the leak is stopped at the source, the oil on the Gulf is contained and cleaned up, and the people of this region are able to go back to their lives and their livelihoods."
When Will It End?
Calling the leak unique and unprecedented Obama explained that stopping the leak could take days.
"Currently, the most advanced technology available is being used to try and stop a leak that is more than 5,000 feet under the surface. Because this leak is unique and unprecedented, it could take many days to stop. That's why we're also using every resource available to stop the oil from coming ashore and mitigating the damage it could cause. And much of the discussion here at the center was focused on if we, and when we have to deal with these mitigation efforts."
"Thus far, as you can tell, the weather has not been as cooperative as we'd like on this front. But we're going to continue to push forward."
In a statement on the company's website, BP Group Chief Executive Tony Hayward said: "BP is fully committed to taking all possible steps to contain the spread of the oil spill."
The Obama administration is making sure that BP also foots the bill for the massive spill.
"Let me be clear", said Obama, "BP is responsible for this leak; BP will be paying the bill."
Contact numbers for info, and more.
Report oiled shoreline or request volunteer information: (866)-448-5816
Submit alternative response technology, services or products: (281) 366-5511
Submit your vessel as a vessel of opportunity skimming system: (281) 366-5511
Submit a claim for damages: (800) 440-0858
Report oiled wildlife: (866) 557-1401
Photos: Affected Fish And Wildlife