This is an e-mail summary of a conference call among members of Congress, their staff and Obama administration officials regarding the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It is unedited. 3PM CALL REPORT OF NOTABLE ITEMS
The following is an unofficial summary of the 3pm Congressional Conference call regarding the Gulf of Mexico incident. This summary is not meant to reflect a precise transcription of the conference call, but rather provides an abbreviated, truncated run-down of most points/questions covered on the call.
Call notes from the 3pm Congressional Members and Staff Call for June 9, 2010 Day 51
Call Managed by Chris Mansour, DOI Congressional Affairs
Cpt. June Ryan , USCG
Subsurface Over last 24 hours, 14,207 gal. dispersants used
Surface Over last 24 hours, 7350 barrels of oily water collected by skimming, total to date is 383,046 barrels of oil water collected. Last 24 hours, 8324 gal. dispersants, 15 in-situ burns totaling 22 hours and 30 min, one burn was 6:39 hours
Shoreline 62,000 feet of boom laid out yesterday
Other 41,958 claims for total of $52 million
Keith Good, COS, MMS
Relief well 1 14,000 and completing casing hanger
Relief Well 2 [no update]
Cap Collecting about 14,000 barrels, and 4 mcf of gas flared, they have a barge tied up collecting oil until weather turns bad. Several midterm solutions are in place and working on longer solutions, which could capture up to 20-25k per day.
Doug Helton, NOAA
Been no change in fisheries closures
Weather is good for operations, there is an onshore flow which will bring oil more towards shore
The offshore track is showing that the loop current is starting to reform, there is a report of eddys of tar ball off the loop current toward Florida
Near shore trajectory, has SE winds and currents moving more oil towards MS, AL and FL panhandle.
Expecting more westward winds over next few days.
Jeff Underwood, FWS
There is need for increasing staff in response requirements, the director asked all employees to call on more staff to be prepared to participate in spill response.
There were 209 oil pelicans observed yesterday, area found boom which was contaminating birds and pelican chicks
More teams in Texas region are ramping up
Staff, Energy Committee
Q: Re: Secretarys testimony from this morning about the amount of oil flowing from the well, can we expect some additional estimates on oil release?
A: DOI There are days away from updated thoughts on the amount of the oil coming out of the well.
Staff, Rep. Bilirakis
Q: NOAA, are you considering waiver for license and permitting fees due to closures?
A: NOAA Will consult with folks and get answers.
Staff, Rep. Wasserman Schultz
Q: Have folks who are looking for contracts for web clean up how do we do?
A: Need to go through fed biz ops.gov which is the best site
Staff, Sen. Gillibrand
Q: Are there subsea oil plumes and how will those get cleaned up?
A: NOAA we are tracking and the information shows that there are not in concentrations that are troubling, as they move further away from the well head we expect those to disperse more.
Q: Responding to BP comment that by Monday or Tuesday will be reduced to a trickle, they mention that a cap with additional ship will be adequate, is that true? What role will relief wells play?
A: DOI - The only way to kill the well is from the bottom. MMS Going to bring in different tighter cap and other equipment which could catch the amount coming out of the well.
Q: What efforts are being done to coordinate briefings, factual briefings, about what is going on? BP is saying things that dont seem to be true and what is the government doing to correct the record.
A: MMS Not sure what time frame will be in place to catch more oil they are expecting the end of the week to reduce to a small level the current flow coming out of the well. At this point, there is hope that this will all work. DOI It is unlikely that there will be a system to capture everything coming out of the well, it is important to manage expectations.
Staff, Science Committee
Q: How much confidence do you have in the BP projections of flow rate?
A: MMS - That is a projection by the government not by BP. When the cap get tightened they will know better what is being capture. DOI - the total flow will only be captured to determine what is the flow rate.
Staff, Natural Resources, Republicans
Q: Yesterdays NTL included requirements for 3rd Party inspection of BOPs, is there a list of approved companies that can conduct those inspections?
A: MMS Not that they are aware of no MMS approved list.
Q: As a follow up, will the 3rd party inspectors be liable in case of a failure of the BOP which they inspect?
A: MMS Dont know about that will check. DOI [very defensively] The report to the President had lots of information about the BOP requirements which didnt consider them very onerous on industry.
Staff, House Science
Q: Since you dont know that the flow rate is how do you determine what the flow rate of the dispersant should be?
A: They are working on a visual operation of what is appropriate
Q: So the dispersant volume is based off a visual confirmation?
A: Yes you use visual tests, like putting oil and dish soap
Staff, Rep. Markey
Q: Fisheries closure number?
A: It is unchanged at 32%.
Staff, Rep. Inslee
Q: What do we know about the damage to the casing of the well?
A: MMS We dont know anything about the integrity of the casing, regardless we wont interact with the well until it is plugged.
Q: Read a Robert Bea article about how casing damage could cause problems
A: MMS The well will connect below the casing and should have no impact.
Staff, Rep. Klein
Q: With regards to the loop current and training in opportunities for local folks to coordinate for pickups and other training
A: USCG The training for FL is same as other places and they are not permitting untrained folks to pick up tar balls.
Q: The congressman would like county folks trained so they can clean up
A: NOAA yes we are working on training some folks
-End of Call-