Deepwater Horizon incident update #36
Tuesday, 15 June 2010 17:22
Navarre Beach and Santa Rosa’s entire coastline is open including the waters for fishing.
Two links to live Web cams on Navarre Beach are available at www.santarosa.fl.gov/oilspill
· Today, there were three confirmed oil debris reports on Navarre Beach, Pensacola Bay, Pensacola Pass and Santa Rosa Sound.
· Multiple quarter to half dollar-sized tarballs were found from Navarre Beach Pier east to the Eglin boundary on the afternoon of June 15.
· On June 14, there were 22 confirmed oil debris reports for Pensacola Bay, Pensacola Pass and Santa Rosa Sound.
· Relatively weak winds (below 10 knots), low seas (below 2 feet) and low rain chances are expected to continue through the next three days, which will be favorable for surface oil recovery operations. Winds are expected to continue out of the south-southwest this afternoon, but by Wednesday afternoon winds may be more west-southwesterly. A tropical wave in the central Atlantic has a 30 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours.
According to NOAA projections, additional impacts are expected throughout northwest Florida within the next 72 hours due to onshore winds.
Observations by NOAA continue to indicate no significant amount of oil moving toward the Loop Current. The Loop Current Ring, a circular current which was formerly part of the Loop Current, and contains a small portion of oil slick in the form of light sheens, has detached again from the main Current. .
· BP has outlined a path to contain more than 50,000 barrels of oil per day by the end of June, two weeks earlier than they originally suggested. Its revised plan also includes methods to achieve even greater redundancy beyond the month of June, to better allow for bad weather or unforeseen circumstances.
Citizens are asked not to have direct contact with oil and oil contaminated products such as tar balls, tar patties, tar mats, and oil sheen. Only qualified members should handle oil products and oil contaminated materials. To report tar or oil on the beach, call the Florida State Warning Point Line at 1-877-272-8335 or # DEP from a cell phone.
· According to the state EOC, Perdido Pass and Pensacola Pass will be closed with the tide to prevent oil from entering inland waters. Boom will be deployed across each Pass at flood tide (water coming in) and removed at ebb tide (water going out).
- o Boaters in areas where skimming is being conducted, or where boom has been set, have been requested to maintain no-wake speeds.
- o Based on oil activity recently, the United States Coast Guard's Captain of the Port for Sector Mobile authorized the official closure of Perdido Pass and Pensacola Pass. These waterways will be manned to allow access to necessary vessel traffic. Perdido Pass and Pensacola Pass will be open for vessel traffic during low tide. See NOAA tide predictions.
- o Boat traffic needing access in or out of boom locations, should call 1-850-736-2261.
- A flashing light has been attached to all booms to increase visibility to boaters.
- NOAA has launched a new federal website detailed near-real-time information about the response to the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill. The website incorporates data from the various agencies that are working together to tackle the spill. Originally designed for responders who make operational decisions to the oil spill, the website integrates the latest data on the oil spill’s trajectory, fishery closed areas, wildlife and place-based Gulf Coast resources — such as pinpointed locations of oiled shoreline and daily position of research ships — into one customizable interactive map which is located at www.disaster,www.GeoPlatform.gov/gulfresponse.
- Skimmers have been deployed in our area and are actively skimming 24-hours a day as weather permits.
- There are 275 Qualified Community Responders and 1,047 beach clean up personnel actively working the cleanup effort in the Florida Panhandle.
- The State of Florida is taking additional proactive measures to ensure the quick and timely discovery of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Reconnaissance missions are being coordinated daily from the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee using air, land, and sea assets from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Civil Air Patrol, and the Florida National Guard. Current local operations include:
- Nearshore Task Force #1 & 4- Conducting oil recovery operations at the mouth of Pensacola Pass
- Escambia Divisions 1, 2 & 3- Operating from Perdido to Navarre to deploy, inspect, maintain and reconfigures boom, investigate and respond to reports of oil, support wildlife branch activities and beach clean debris to minimize need for disposal of contaminated waste.
- Offshore Recovery Task Force #702, 704, & 705- Deployed south of Pensacola to recovery oil product.
- BP has contracted with Waste Management Services for removal of waste generated from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.. Learn more about treatment and disposal options at: www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon/files/treatment_disposal_options.pdf
- Unified Command policy requires all on-shore and near-shore cleanup workers to follow a work/rest cycle to ensure their safety and well-being. In conjunction with OSHA approval and the collaboration of a board-certified doctor, all workers are required to follow heat stress management plan work schedules. The schedule requires specific work-rest regimen which differs depending on the heat index at the moment, the work being done and the type of protective clothing being worn.
- There is no planned use of dispersants in Florida waters.
- Unified Area Command has consolidated a report of fish and wildlife collected in the Deepwater Horizon/BP incident impact area. The report is updated each day at noon and is available at http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/doctype/2931/55963.
Santa Rosa County Actions
- · A plan was developed for local reconnaissance and teams were sent out today providing real time information on oil products including photos and GPS coordinates.
- · Emergency Management requested reconnaissance and recovery assets near the Pensacola Pass be prepositions due to the reoccurrence of product in the Pensacola Bay.
- A staff member from Santa Rosa County Emergency Management was placed in Unified Command on June 12 located in Mobile, AL to represent Santa Rosa, Escambia and Okaloosa counties and help ensure rapid response and better communications between the counties and Unified Command. Each county will send a staff member to represent the three county areas, rotating every seven days.
- · County staff and reconnaissance teams continue to monitor beach conditions daily generally from day break until 6 p.m.
- On June 2, the EOC returned to a level 2, or partial activation with essential staff, from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. until further notice. The Santa Rosa County Citizen Information Line at (850) 983-INFO or 4636 is open 24 hours daily.
- Santa Rosa County and the State of Florida continue to make preparations to safeguard the state’s shoreline.
- Oil containment boom (in feet) total in Florida: 372,660
- Tier 1: 182,400 / Tier 2: 123,500
- Tier 3: 66,760 ( deployed by Florida contractors)
- An additional booming plan for Santa Rosa County that was drafted by the state’s contractor WRS for the county, was approved by unified command and the plan and booming map are posted at www.santarosa.fl.gov/oilspill, shown as a blue cross on the map (some locations have two crosses to show point to point locations).
- The following booming sites, which are in addition to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Area Contingency Plan, were deployed by Santa Rosa’s selected state contractor and left open for navigation and will be closed upon imminent threat: Zamarra Canal, Gilmore Bayou, Woodland Bayou, Villa Venyce, Santa Rosa Shores, Hoffman Bayou, Polynesian Isle, East River, and two booms in Pensacola Bay
- DRC, the contractor, is responsible for monitoring, maintaining and disposal of any oil material
- · Booms located in Santa Rosa that have been left open for navigation to date, may begin to close this week. Boaters in these areas should monitor the local media or www.santarosa.fl.gov/oilspill for the latest on boom closures.
- Residents are asked to stay clear of boom on beaches and in open water. Boom has been placed to protect environmentally sensitive and strategic areas and damaging or removing the boom puts those areas at risk. Crossing boom can cause serious damage to vessels.
- Spill responders are asking for the public’s help in monitoring boom along the Gulf Coast. Boaters are requested to report sightings of broken, disconnected, or adrift boom; and encouraged to keep their distance from boom especially at night and in conditions of restricted visibility. Report damaged, vandalized, adrift, or stolen boom to 1-866-448-5816.
- Air quality reports for June 14 revealed that air quality was good for the ozone and moderate for fine concentrations in the panhandle. “Good” means the air quality is satisfactory and air pollution poses little of no risk. “Moderate” means air quality is acceptable for most people.
- The Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Protection are closely monitoring health and environmental impacts to Florida. Current advisories are posted at: www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon/health.htm and www.santarosa.fl.gov/oilspill under “What’s Hot.”
- The Florida Department of Health, in coordination with DEP and VISITFLORIDA has developed an online mapping resource that contains the most up-to-date health advisory information for Florida’s beach waters. This information is available at www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon/health.htm or www.visitflorida.com/florida_travel_advisory/.
- June 10 water quality testing came back negative for aliphatic hydrocarbons at Pensacola Beach Pier, Navarre Beach Pier, River Road and Perdido Key. This means that no dissolved or dispersed hydrocarbons were found in the water.
- Syndromic surveillance, or using health-related data that would warrant further public health response, has been heightened in six coastal counties from Escambia to Gulf, monitoring for potential health effects.
- The tar balls that are found resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill pose no different health risk than tar balls that are commonly found on Florida beaches. The Department of Health and DEP are closely monitoring health and environmental impacts to Florida’s beaches and will notice an advisory if conditions become unsafe.
- For most people, an occasional brief contact with a small amount of tar balls, while not recommended, will do no harm. However, some people are especially sensitive to chemicals, including the hydrocarbons found in crude oil and petroleum products. They may have an allergic reaction or develop rashes even from brief contact with oil. If contact occurs, wash the area with soap and water, baby oil, or a widely used, safe cleaning compound such as the cleaning paste sold at auto parts stores. Avoid using solvents, gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel, or similar products on the skin. These products, when applied to skin, present a greater health hazard than the smeared tarball itself.
- Today, BP announced that it has approved initial payments toward 90 percent of commercial large loss claims that have been filed as a result of financial losses of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Using an accelerated process BP approved payments of 337 checks for a total of $16 million to businesses that have filed claims in excess of $5,000. Initial payments began over the weekend and will be completed this week. The remaining outstanding commercial large loss claims are awaiting documentation and are continuing through the process.
- BP announced it will be sending a second advance payment during June to individuals and businesses along the Gulf Coast to compensate for the loss of income or net profit due to the cleanup of the Deepwater Horizon Incident in the Gulf of Mexico.
- A BP Community Outreach Center has been opened in Gulf Breeze at:
- 1198 Gulf Breeze Pkwy., Ste. 6, Gulf Breeze FL 32561
- Phone (850) 691-9116
- BP Claims for Deepwater Horizon can be submitted at www.bp.com/claims.
- To serve the residents of Santa Rosa County, BP opened a claims office in Midway on Friday, May 14. The office is located at 5668 Gulf Breeze Parkway Unit B-9 in Gulf Breeze. Hours of operation will be 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice.
- BP recommends anyone with a claim to call 1-800-440-0858 to help expedite the process. By calling the claims number, adjusters at the claims office will have the information prior to your visit.
- BP claims in Florida total 13,229 with approximately $9,873,285.36 paid.
- BP claims in Santa Rosa County total 1,168 with approximately $714,869 paid.
Small Business Disaster & Bridge Loans
- On June 7, Governor Charlie Crist activated Florida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, which will provide emergency, short-term loans to established small businesses in the designated counties.
- Short-term loans of up to $25,000 will be available to owners of small businesses (less than 100 employees) in counties impacted the recent oil spill. The interest-free loans come in terms of 12 month maturities. To be eligible, a business owner must have been operational for one full year prior to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on April 20, 2010, and demonstrate physical damage or economic injury as a result of the oil spill.
- , or the Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (http://www.ffcfc.com) at
- Governor Crist announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved disaster loan funds for businesses along Florida’s Gulf coast that have been impacted by the Deepwater Horizon incident.
- SBA representatives opened a disaster loan office on Tuesday, May 18 at the Navarre Visitor Information Center located at 8543 Navarre Parkway (U.S. Hwy 98) in Navarre. Hours of operations will be 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday- Saturday until further notice.
- More information can be found at: www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance/SERV_DISASTERASSISTANCEGOV.html
- Loan Applications
- Issued: 308
- Accepted: 60
- Declined: 14
- Approved: 2
- Loan amount approved: $255,000.00
Vessels of Opportunity (boats) program
- BP is looking to contract shrimp boats, oyster boats and other vessels for hire through the Vessel of Opportunities Program to deploy boom in the Gulf of Mexico. For more information 907-301-8878.
- 363 vessels have been deployed in Florida for the Vessels of Opportunity program.
- Submit your vessel as a vessel of opportunity skimming system: (281) 366-5511
- All Santa Rosa County waters are currently open to fishing. Oil has not affected most of Florida waters and there are vast amounts open for fishing and other recreational activities and the FWC encourages everyone to fish where the waters are clear and to enjoy freshly harvested seafood products in these areas. Updated information regarding fishing advisories or harvest closures in Florida due to the BP oil spill will be posted online at http://myfwc.com/OilSpill/index.htm.
- To help prevent tainted seafood from reaching the market, NOAA created a seafood sampling and inspection plan. Just after the beginning of the spill, it collected and tested seafood of commercial and recreational fish and shellfish species from areas where oil from the spill had not yet reached. NOAA is using ongoing surveillance to evaluate new seafood samples to determine whether contamination is present outside the closed area. If fish samples have elevated levels of oil compounds, NOAA will consider whether to expand closed areas.
- The federal effort to ensure seafood is not contaminated with oil will also include NOAA’s dockside sampling of fish products in the Gulf. NOAA will verify that catch was caught outside the closed area using information from vessel monitoring systems that track the location of a vessel or information from on-board observers. If tainted fish are found in dockside sampling, NOAA will notify FDA and state health officials for further action.
- The FWC is taking precautionary actions and has issued a partial harvesting closure of saltwater fish and marine vertebrates. This closure covers state waters from the Alabama state line east to the Pensacola Beach tower (approximately 23 miles east and out nine miles from the coastline. Interior bays and estuaries remain open to fishing. The closure does not affect oysters, clams and scallops. Catch and release is still allowed. For more information visit http://myfwc.com/OilSpill/index.htm
- Governor Crist announced that seafood licenses set to expire on July 1 are extended and the 2010 recreational harvest season for bay scallops will open nearly two weeks early. The extension will allow fishers to harvest, purchase, sell or transport saltwater products after July 1 in accordance with their 2009-2010 licenses until their licenses are renewed for the 2010-2011 year or until September 30. The 2010 shrimp scallop harvest season will begin on June 19 instead of July 1. All other provisions governing harvest of bay scallops in Florida remain in effect. For more information on fishing regulations visit www.myfwc.com/fishing.
- The FWC is conducting airborne and waterborne surveillance to establish oil presence and extent to guide management actions. It will decide whether to close a specific area to the harvest of fish based on a visual assessment that confirms there is a significant amount of oil on the surface of the water. Fishermen are reminded that it is recommended to never harvest and eat fish with oily residue, fish that have a petroleum odor or dead fish.
- The FWC & NOAA Fisheries Service strongly advises fishermen not to fish in areas where oil or oil sheens (very thin layers of floating oil) are present, even if those areas are not currently closed to fishing. Details can be found at: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/
- Vessels are advised to avoid spill areas.
- Vessels that must transit through the affected zone should maintain a safe speed through the oil that appears light, bright and on the surface. Vessels should avoid pockets of heavy black oil to ensure safe navigation.
- If traveling through an oil affected area by boat, take precautions when hoisting the boat anchor. If oil makes contact with skin, wash it off immediately with soap and water. Recommendations can be found on cleaning at www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon under Resources.
Important Phone Numbers
- Florida Oil Spill Information Line is- available from 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. EDT daily for citizen’s questions. - 1-888- 337-3569
- Fraud Hotline- 1-866-966-7226.
- - email
- Report Oiled Wildlife- 1-866-557-1401
- Report Oiled Shoreline to State Warning Point- 1-877-2-SAVE-FL (1-877-272-8335) or #DEP from a cell phone
- To Report Oiled Shoreline to BP- 877-389-8932
- BP Toll-Free Claims line- 1800-440-0858
- BP’s Community Information line- 1-866-448-5816
- Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner gas price-gauging hotline: 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-435-7352).
General Safety Information
- Citizens can signup to automatically receive breaking news alerts from Santa Rosa County Emergency Management via e-mail or as a text message on their cell phone at: www.santarosa.fl.gov/emergency/publicwarning.html.
- The Santa Rosa County Citizen Information Line at (850) 983-INFO or 4636 is open 24 hours daily.
- For general health information regarding the oil spill and exposure to oil spill products contact the Florida Poison Control information centers at 1-800-222-1222