Agencies respond to oil spill
State and Federal Agencies Team Up To Respond To Gulf Coast Oil Spill
PEARL – The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is coordinating with other state and federal agencies in response to the April 20 explosion that sank the BP’ Transocean Deepwater Horizon drilling rig April 22. Although the oil spill has not reached Mississippi’s shoreline, current forecasts predict impacts from the oils could reach us in the next 48 to 72 hours.
The following is a list of recent and ongoing actions by state agencies:
MEMA: MEMA has also deployed staff to the coastal region and is coordinating with other state and federal agencies. MEMA staff is currently working out of the Department of Marine Resources building located in the Biloxi Back Bay. MEMA also has staff working with the Unified Command in Mobile, Ala.
Joint Information Center: As of May 1 more than a total of 73,300 ft of boom has been deployed along the sensitive areas of the Mississippi coast. Additionally, more than 10,000 ft. of absorbent boom has been laid in Grand Bay. Additional boom is available at the Mississippi staging and deployment areas and additional footage has been ordered. Two on-site spill response staging areas began physically setting up in Mississippi – one today in Biloxi and a second on Monday in Pascagoula. These staging areas are tasked with staging all spill response equipment and laying out boom along the sensitive areas of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Priority areas for booming are identified by state agencies in contingencies plans including were identified by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and other agencies.
- Continuous offshore air sampling is not showing any signs of dangerous chemicals.
- A toll-free number 1-800-557-1401 was established and announced to report oil or injured wildlife. People are urged not to attempt to help injured or oiled animals, but to report any sightings via the toll-free number.
- For claims, call 1-800-440-0858. To volunteer with shoreline clean-up, call 1-866-448-5816.
- For any health related concerns regarding the oil spill, contact the Poison Control Center at 800 -222-1222 or go to www.aapcc.org/DNN/.
Mississippi Department of Marine Resources: The DMR’s website, www.dmr.state.ms.us, provides information for those wanting to volunteer. To report stranded dolphins or sea turtles, please call (888) 767-3657.
Mississippi State Department of Health: The EPA is currently monitoring coast air quality for changes and possible risks.
Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality: The Environmental Protection Agency has initiated an air monitoring effort to ensure the safety of local residents and track any developing air quality changes. To see the latest data, visit www.airnow.gov. EPA is sampling the air, water and sediment to assess the impact of the oil spill on the affected ecosystems. Samples can take time to process, usually about 3-4 days. Sampling data will provide specific information about the pollutants and will be used to help guide the response and cleanup. EPA is working with local, state and federal response partners. To suggest technology solutions, visit www.epa.gov/bpspill/techsolution.html.
Mississippi Board of Animal Health: MBAH is currently asking veterinarians or a veterinary technicians who are interested in assisting with the oil spill to contact Dr. Carla Huston at Huston@cvm.msstate.edu or Dr. Brigid Elchos at Brigid@mdac.state.ms.us. in the event there is animals are affected. Until that time MBAH recommends that those who are interested to gather credentials in the following areas:
· Certifications and experience in Oiled Animal Response.
· Certifications and experience in Haz-Mat Awareness and Operations 3. Incident Command.
· System training and experience (ICS 100, 200, 700) 4. Current State Licensures if you are a veterinarian.
For more information, contact the State Emergency Joint Information Center at 866-920-MEMA (6362), or visit us online at www.msema.org. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook using the keyword MSEMA.