The Development Driller III continues to drill the first relief well to a depth of more than 12,000 feet—10 days ahead of schedule—and is beginning to angle the well at 35 degrees. The Development Driller II has drilled the second relief well to a depth of 8,650 feet.
Successful Controlled Burn
Favorable weather conditions allowed responders to conduct a successful controlled burn operation. As part of a coordinated response that combines tactics deployed above water, below water, offshore, and close to coastal areas, controlled burns efficiently remove oil from the open water in an effort to protect shoreline and wildlife. In total, more than 100 burns have been conducted to remove a total of 2.8 million gallons of oil from the water to date.
Gulf Fishing Restrictions Expanded; 74 Percent Remains Open
[but 25 percent is closed]
NOAA extended the northern boundary of the closed fishing area in the Gulf of Mexico up to the Mississippi federal-state water line and portions of the Alabama federal-state water line—this federal closure does not apply to any state waters. Closing fishing in these areas is a precautionary measure to ensure that seafood from the Gulf will remain safe for consumers.
The closed area now represents 61,854 square miles, which is slightly less than 26 percent of Gulf of Mexico federal waters. This leaves more than 74 percent of Gulf federal waters available for fishing. Details can be found at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/.
This extension of the federal fishing closed area due to the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill coincides with the June 1 opening of the Gulf of Mexico recreational red snapper season, and will affect some areas targeted by charter boat captains and private anglers.
However, NOAA Fisheries Service is increasing the level of data collection to more closely monitor the effects of the oil spill on Gulf recreational fishing. This will allow the agency to adjust the closure date for recreational fishing seasons as appropriate, including the red snapper season which is scheduled to close at 12:01 a.m. July 24.
Property Damage Claims Processed
The administration will continue to hold the responsible parties accountable for repairing the damage, and repaying Americans who’ve suffered a financial loss as a result of the BP oil spill. BP continues to process claims via its claims website (www.bp.com/claims) and its helpline (1-800-440-0858). BP reports that 30,619 claims have been opened, from which $39.4 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are more than 481 claims adjusters on the ground. To file a claim, visit www.bp.com/claims or call BP’s helpline at 1-800-440-0858. Those who have already pursued the BP claims process and are not satisfied with BP’s resolution can call the Coast Guard at (800) 280-7118.
Air and Ground Wildlife Rescue and Cleanup Assessment Missions Continue
[Note no numbers of animals killed or rescued are given]
Four wildlife rescue and survey flights were conducted, and 28 boat surveillance and recovery teams continue to patrol wetlands, beaches and shoreline areas to survey potentially impacted wildlife and assess impact by oil.