From the new web site Restore the Gulf <a href="link:http://www.restorethegulf.gov/">www.restorethegulf.gov/</a> the federal government posted these news highlights of the past 24 hours:
National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen directs BP to provide updates and next steps for well integrity test<br><br>
Admiral Allen also reiterated the circumstances surrounding the well integrity test:
“Work must continue to better understand the lower than expected pressure readings. This work centers on two plausible scenarios, depletion of oil from the reservoir and potential leakage caused by damage to the well bore or casing.
“While we are pleased that no oil is currently being released into the Gulf of Mexico and want to take all appropriate action to keep it that way, it is important that all decisions are driven by the science. Ultimately, we must ensure no irreversible damage is done which could cause uncontrolled leakage from numerous points on the sea floor.”
<strong>Federal Scientists Ask for Help from the Public in Tracking Treated & Released Wildlife</strong>
With large numbers of birds being rescued, treated, and relocated in the Gulf States as a result of the BP oil spill, people seeing banded birds are asked to report sightings. As part of this unprecedented unified response to the BP oil spill, federal scientists are asking the public to help report oiled wildlife, as well.
A large percentage of captured birds are being successfully treated and released back into the wild. These birds are being fitted with leg bands that provide identifying information to assist federal scientists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey and other organizations in studying these birds after release.
Scientific information being collected from this oil spill will expand the scope of knowledge that bird researchers and other scientists will have in the future to help ensure the health of migratory birds. Among other information, scientists will learn the extent to which released birds return to their original habitat.
<strong> Progress Continues in Drilling Relief Wells</strong>
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 17,840 feet below the Gulf surface. The Development Driller II has drilled the second relief well â€” a redundancy measure taken at the direction of the administration â€”t o a depth of more than 15,960 feet below the surface.
<strong>Personnel Continue Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Missions Across the Region</strong>
From the Houma, La., Incident Command Post, a total of 295 personnel, 83 vessels and four helicopters participated in reconnaissance and wildlife rescue and recovery missions. From the Mobile, Ala., Incident Command Post, 39 two-person teams, 22 support personnel and 11 vessels responded. These missions were conducted in response to calls received on the Wildlife Hotline to report of oiled and injured wildlife. To report oiled wildlife, call (866) 557-1401.
<strong>By the Numbers to Date:</strong><ul>
<li>The administration has authorized the deployment of 17,500 National Guard troops from Gulf Coast states to respond to this crisis; currently, 1,619 are active. </li>
<li>Approximately 42,000 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines. </li>
<li>More than 6,490 vessels are currently responding on site, including skimmers, tugs, barges, and recovery vessels to assist in containment and cleanup effortsâ€”in addition to dozens of aircraft, remotely operated vehicles, and multiple mobile offshore drilling units. </li>
<li>More than 3.4 million feet of containment boom and 7.2 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spillâ€”and approximately 852,000 feet of containment boom and 3 million feet of sorbent boom are available. </li>
<li>More than 34.2 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
<li>Approximately 1.84 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied â€” 1.07 million on the surface and 771,000 sub-sea. Approximately 574,000 gallons are available. </li>
<li>409 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of more than 11 million gallons of oil from the open water in an effort to protect shoreline and wildlife. Because calculations on the volume of oil burned can take more than 48 hours, the reported total volume may not reflect the most recent controlled burns. </li>
<li>17 staging areas are in place to protect sensitive shorelines. </li>
<li>Approximately 615 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently oiled â€” approximately 352 miles in Louisiana, 112 miles in Mississippi, 69 miles in Alabama, and 82 miles in Florida. These numbers reflect a daily snapshot of shoreline currently experiencing impacts from oil so that planning and field operations can more quickly respond to new impacts; they do not include cumulative impacts to date, or shoreline that has already been cleared. </li>
<li>Approximately 83,927 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. More than 65 percent remains open. </li>
<li>To date, the administration has leveraged assets and skills from numerous foreign countries and international organizations as part of this historic, all-hands-on-deck response, including Argentina, Belgium, Canada, China, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization, the European Union’s Monitoring and Information Centre, and the European Maritime Safety Agency. </li></ul>