Gulf Spill Cleanup Moves to Restoration Phase
According to BP, at the height of the response to the oil spill, more than 48,000 responders were involved in capping the Macondo well, recovering oil, protecting the coastline, and rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife.
BP is ready to begin restoration work in the region affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, now that the U.S. Coast Guard's federal on-scene coordinator has approved the shoreline cleanup completion plan, the company announced Nov. 9. The coordinator will determine which shoreline segments have completed the active cleanup measures and can shift to BP-funded restoration activities.
"This is an important milestone in the recovery process for the Gulf Coast," said Mike Utsler, the head of BP's Gulf Coast Restoration Organization. "As final shoreline cleanup operations are completed, restoration activities can begin that will enhance the Gulf Coast ecosystem and its communities. BP has already pledged up to $1 billion to fund early restoration projects as part of the Natural Resources Damage Assessment, and we are working with federal and state trustees to determine where to begin those efforts."
Some 635 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline required some cleaning. As of Nov. 9, more than 90 percent of shoreline in the affected area had met agreed-upon standards to transition out of the response phase. BP said at the height of the response to the spill and the Deepwater Horizon explosion and sinking, more than 48,000 responders were involved in capping the well, removing oil, protecting the coasting, and rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife. Collecting 95,000 tons of oiled debris and all other cleanup activities have cost $13.6 billion, and $7.3 billion has been paid in claims and other support payments. "After the spill, BP promised to clean up the oil and pay all legitimate claims," said Utsler. "We are making good on that commitment, but our work is not done. With the shoreline cleanup completion plan in place, restoration work for the long-term benefit of the region can now begin."