Escambia Disaster Response – Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
Monday, July 12, 3:30 p.m. – Update #66 (Day 84 of the oil spill response)
* Report tar or oiled debris on the beach 1-877-389-8932 or #DEP from a cell phone.
* DO NOT TOUCH oiled or injured wildlife. Report your finding to 1-866-557-1401.
* Oil Impact Notice
* No significant changes for today, Monday, July 12.
* All news conferences have been discontinued.
* A Special Board of County Commissioners’ meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, July 13 at 8:30 a.m. in the Board Meeting Room, 221 Palafox Place, 1st floor. The purpose of the meeting is to approve the appropriation of the second advance of $700,000, from the Florida Division of Emergency Management, as provided by the Deepwater Horizon Memorandum of Understanding, for a Florida tourism and advertising campaign relative to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
* Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key Beach Protection and Shoreline Cleanup Plan
* The beaches are open for business.
* Please be sensitive to the clean up efforts on the beaches. We understand curiosity, but officials are asking the public to avoid work areas and allow room for the workers and equipment needed to clean the beaches.
* Please do not handle or walk through the tar balls and oil. This only spreads the product and makes cleanup more difficult.
* BP claims in Florida total 28,356 with approximately $29,106,864.48 paid.
* There are 413 vessels deployed in Florida for the Vessels of Opportunity program.
* BP to issue July advance payment for Gulf Coast loss of income claims. (More information)
* Incident Command has received reports that unknown individuals are attempting to scam people who would like to be beach cleaning workers for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response effort. Reports have come in from the states of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. These individuals reportedly state that workers must pay them for training before they can be employed. Legitimate beach cleaning contractors provide all required training free of charge. Individuals approached by anyone offering employment, only after you pay for the training, are encouraged to contact local law enforcement officials.
* Do not sign any documents in return from money from BP or anyone else until you know the extent of your loss. BP officials carry proper identification badges or business cards.
* There are reports of a scam involving individuals falsely representing themselves as BP employees and offering applicants training and job placement for a fee. BP does not charge to train applicants. If you or someone you know has been charged for training, please contact law enforcement.
* BP’s Florida Gulf Response web site: www.floridagulfresponse.com.
* File claims with BP online: http://www.bp.com/claims.
* BP’s claims office is located at 3960 W. Navy Boulevard, Suite 16 & 17. The office is currently open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice. BP claims categories. Call 1-800-440-0858 to help expedite the process. If you are not satisfied with BP’s resolution, call 1-800-280-7118.
* The BP community outreach office is located at 435 East Government Street for questions on volunteering, vessels of opportunity program, or any other questions. Phone: 850-912-8640.
* To register as a consultant, contractor, vendor or submit information on alternative response technology, services products or suggestions, call BP at 281-366-5511.
* BP Vessels of Opportunity – see the master vessel charter agreement and vessel requirements checklist online www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com. To pick up or deliver completed Vessels of Opportunity packets, visit 435 East Government Street. For information, call 281-366-5511.
* The Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, contracted by BP to provide assistance to oiled wildlife. Specific safety and other requirements must be met before anyone will be allowed on-site for any participation. If you have wildlife training, call 1-866-557-1401.
* Boaters are requested to report sightings of broken, disconnected or adrift boom and are asked to keep their distance from boom especially at night or in conditions of restricted visibility. Please report damaged, vandalized, adrift or stolen boom to: 1-866-448-5816. See details.
* Coast Guard establishes a 20-meter safety zone around all protective boom. (More information)
* Latest information from NOAA Fisheries Service, including federal fisheries closure, regulation changes and quota increases: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov.
* Unified Command has released a fact sheet on “If Oil is Spotted on the Shore” that provides details on what happens after the oil reaches the shore. Details.
State of Florida
* The Escambia County Health Department has released information on what a person should do when an oily feeling or residue is present on skin. (More information)
* The Escambia County Health Department has release information on avoiding oil and tar on the beaches. (More Information).
* The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has issued an executive order to provide additional oyster harvest days in the Pensacola Bay system. The order states that oysters may be harvested in conditionally approved oyster harvesting areas of Escambia and East Bay Shellfish Harvesting Areas in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties from July 3 through September 30. The order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on July 3 and will expire at 12:01 a.m. on October 1. (Press Release)
* The Department of Environmental Protection evaluated 10 different technologies for cleaning oil impacted beaches on Thursday morning on Pensacola Beach. The products and technologies were evaluated for effectiveness and efficiency of cleanup operations, deployment and disposal.
* The Department of Environmental Protection is planning another technology review event in a couple of weeks. Citizens and companies with suggestions, ideas, or products can submit their ideas to Innovative.Technology@dep.state.fl.us for evaluation for use in Florida.
* Governor Charlie Crist sent a letter to Doug Suttles, Chief Operating Officer of Exploration and Production for BP America, Inc. requesting an additional $50 million for the second round of a tourism marketing and advertising campaign to assist business owners and families in counties affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Letter
* Governor Charlie Crist sent a letter to Doug Suttles, Chief Operating Officer of Exploration and Production for BP America, Inc. requesting the data needed to evaluate the claims process and measure the economic impact of the losses to all level of governments throughout Florida. Letter
* Five skimmers were contracted by the state of Florida for this area with one skimmer designated for Escambia County.
* See Florida Department of Health information and alerts about the health effects from oil.
* See DEP’s Homeowner Tips for Protecting Florida’s Shorelines (PDF).
* The Small Business Administration issued an economic injury Disaster Loan Declaration for the state of Florida. Pensacola office: 401 E. Chase Street, Suite 100. For more information on Economic Injury Disaster Loans visit the SBA website.
* For information on the Florida Small Business Development Center’s Mobile Area Command units, visit www.floridasbdc.org/Special Programs/bcrm.asp.
* Additional guidance to help small businesses survive a disaster can be found at www.MyFloridaCFO.com or by calling 850-413-3089 or toll-free 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236).
* Submit innovative technology ideas, suggestions or products by completing this form. Send the form and supporting documentation to Innovative.Technology@dep.state.fl.us.
* Video and audio public service announcements are available for download to educate the public on response, safety, coast watch and beach cleanup. See details.
* Report boom vandalism to the 1-800-320-0519 or #DEP from your cell phone.
* County staff will be participating in daily meetings at the operations and planning sections of the new Escambia/Santa Rosa Branch at Bayou Chico. This is part of the command structure for Unified Command.
* Escambia County is excited to announce that the second $700,000 for tourism advertising has been received. This money will be used solely for tourism advertising for Escambia County.
* The Escambia County Emergency Operations Center is changing the operational schedule to Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
* News releases and updates will be sent as needed on non-operational days.
* County personnel continue to monitor the situation and will re-evaluate operations in the event circumstances change.
* Cleaning stations have been placed on both Perdido Key and Pensacola Beach at the crossovers (between the crossovers and the roadways) to aid in the removal of tar and oil. Clean-up crews continue to work both beaches at night when temperatures are cooler.
* “Hot shot” teams are responding to specific requests during the day as needed.
* Staff continue to monitor clean-up efforts and skimming operations.
* Skimmer vessels continue to respond as reports are received. Skimmers are working nightly.
* A federal website is live providing real time information about the Deepwater Horizon BP Oil spill into one customizable, interactive map.
* A Recreational Vessel Decontamination Facility for local boaters is being established.
* Reports vary widely throughout the day as heat from the sun brings subsurface oil to the top, and cooler temperatures at night tend to cause it to sink below the surface.
* Anyone caught destroying, disturbing or stealing boom will be prosecuted. If you spot any illegal activity related to the booms, please call 1-800-320-0519.
* See Escambia Inland Waterways Deployed Boom List.
* Perdido Pass, Pensacola Pass and Bayou Texar are navigationally restricted during flood (incoming) tide and reopen during ebb (outgoing) tide as water flows out to the gulf. They are manned to allow access to necessary vessel traffic. (See NOAA tide predictions.)
* Boaters are asked to be mindful of the boom and skimming operations, to use slow speeds so as not to produce a wake that may disrupt the boom, and to be aware of restricted areas.
* A flashing light has been attached to all boom to increase visibility to boaters.
* The Intracoastal Waterway remains open.
* The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), in coordination with Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Department of Health, issued an executive order to temporarily close a portion of coastal state waters offshore of Escambia County to the harvest of saltwater fish, crabs and shrimp. Details.
* The closure includes state waters from the beaches out nine nautical miles into the Gulf from the Alabama line east to the Pensacola Beach water tower. Interior bays and estuaries remain open to fishing. This area covers approximately 23 miles of Florida’s coastline in Escambia County. Map.
* Recreational catch-and-release fishing is still allowed.
* The Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier and the Pensacola Bay Fishing Bridge are open for sightseers and fishing, however fishing off the Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier is catch and release only.
* Reconnaissance flights and ATV beach patrols are being conducted daily, weather permitting, to monitor Florida’s shoreline for impact.
* Unified command continues to check, verify the condition and make repairs as needed to currently placed booms.
* If citizens see anything unusual on the beaches, Escambia County has opened field offices on Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key to assist in answering questions from the public and to also act as staging areas for the county monitoring teams.
o The Pensacola Beach field office is located at 5 Via Deluna, Suite 8; phone: 934-6500.
o The Perdido Key field office is located at 13578 Perdido Key Drive; phone: 791-6905
* Staff continue to monitor and maintain boom. See Booming Locations and Booming Maps.
* Hurricane season began June 1. See the Hurricanes and Oil Spill Fact Sheet (PDF)
* On inland waters (bays, bayous, estuaries, rivers), private property owners may install oil absorbent material, booms or fences on private property above the mean high waterline (MHWL) only. No material may be installed or sprayed below the MHWL.
* On gulf-front property, the use of silt fences, obstructions, hay bales, peat, surfactants or other material is not approved. DEP is the permitting agency for beaches and coastal systems. No obstructions to sea turtle nesting behavior is allowed.
City of Pensacola
* Boom has been added by city at the Escambia Bay entrance to Gaborone Swamp off Scenic Highway.
* As requested by the city, additional boom has been placed at the mouth of Bayou Texar by the county to provide additional protection.
* Boom has been added by city to protect aquatic vegetation just south of 17th Avenue boat ramp at Bayou Texar on west side.
* DEP has boomed Project Greenshores Phase II from Muscogee Wharf to Hawkshaw Lagoon.
* Boom has been added by the city across entrance to Pitt Slip Marina in the very near future, as warranted.
* Boom has been added by the city to entrance of new Maritime Park bulkhead mitigation site immediately west of Crab Trap restaurant.
* City is currently requesting/seeking approximately 1100′ of boom to secure and protect the rip-rap surrounding the Bruce Beach wetland mitigation site maintained by the Port of Pensacola.
* Boom has been added by city to protect shoreline of Sanders Beach-Corrine Jones community center and waterfront park facility immediately east of Bayou Chico.
* The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has determined volunteers cannot be used in any situation where they may come in contact with oiled shorelines or oiled wildlife.
* To volunteer, visit www.volunteerfloridadisaster.org.
* If you see a tar ball on the beach, DO NOT PICK IT UP. Report it to 1-877-389-8932.
* The Escambia County Health Department offers advice to residents experiencing symptoms from odors associated with the oil spill. (See details at www.escambiahealth.com.)
* Florida Department of Health Deepwater Horizon Health Information FAQs.
* Seafood Consumption FAQs.
* Do not attempt to rescue oiled or injured birds or wildlife as this may cause additional injuries.
* If oiled, injured or dead wildlife are found, call 1-866-557-1401. Provide location where the wildlife was sighted.
* Boats should keep a safe distance from the booms. Do not drive boats over booms.
* Do not drive boats through slicks or sheens.
* Gulf coast residents may detect an odor because of the oil spill. Some are more sensitive to these odors and may experience nasal irritation and feelings of nausea. In combination with seasonal allergies or pre-existing respiratory conditions, some may experience more severe symptoms. For Air Quality Reports, see http://www.epa.gov/bpspill/air.html.
* Individuals who have pre-existing medical conditions, such as asthma or other respiratory illness should contact their health care provider if feeling symptomatic.
* If you see or smell oil, leave immediately. Avoid skin contact with oil or oil-contaminated water. Do not swim or ski in areas affected by oil, and if you travel through the area by boat, take care when hoisting the anchor. Restrict pets from entering oil-contaminated areas. If you get oil on your skin, wash it off with soap and water. Young children, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, and individuals with underlying respiratory conditions should avoid the area.
* Do not fish in the oil spill-affected waters. Do not harvest and eat dead fish, fish with oily residue or fish that have a petroleum odor.
* SBA Disaster Assistance Electronic Loan Application (ELA)
* More information about what types of damages are eligible for compensation under the Oil Pollution Act as well as guidance to seek compensation can be found at www.uscg.mil/npfc.
* Florida emergency management and economic development staff are gathering information from businesses impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Please complete their survey and help shape Florida’s response to this event. The survey will be updated periodically.
* Take detailed records of cancelled reservations. When cancellations occur, ask the party if the cancellation is related the oil spill. Keep the person’s name and contact information, and the revenues lost as a result of the cancellation.
* Businesses negatively impacted due to the oil spill, are asked to keep detailed profit and loss records should a claim need to be presented. Calculate estimated losses for a six-week period and have records, receipts and documentation to support your claim. Compare business to a five-year average of revenues between May and June, which can offer insight as to the damages incurred.
* Make a detailed list of assets, including non-structural, and include supportive records. If your hotel or restaurant is within walking distance to the beach, the business’s assets could be damaged even though there is no physical damage to the structure. Please record this depreciation.
Important Phone Numbers For Citizens
o Report oil on the beach or shoreline: 1-877-389-8932 or #DEP from a cell phone
o To report oiled wildlife: 1-866-557-1401
o BP Claims: 1-800-440-0858
o To report damaged, vandalized, adrift or stolen boom: 1-866-448-5816 or 1-800-320-0519
o Escambia County Citizen’s Information Line: 471-6600
o Florida Oil Spill Information Line: 1-888-337-3569