Tag Archive: florida



07.16.10~

Top Hat #8

After 7 attempts at an oil cap to contain the crippling gush of oil;  the 8th containment cap may be the prodigal son. Watch a visual confirmation here:     http://www.ustream.tv/pbsnewshour

Currently, the pressure reads at 6745 psi  and has been climbing approx 2 psi/hour.  A disheartening number for the residents of the Gulf Coast who were hoping that the psi’s were in the 9000 range.

Normally, this low pressure would denote that the well board is compromised and oil will need to be released onto the 4 production vessels which was said by Coast Guard Admiral Thaad Allen to “have the capacity to hold 60-80k bpd”.

However, the general consensus seems to be leaning towards the belief the well has low levels of oil because it has been gushing for so long as opposed to stating that there is another, unfounded, leak.

It was felt that the continuation of testing should continue because the majority of the other factors were positive.

During the integrity testing , all the valves are closed which allows the oil to be fully captured.

The Gulf Coast residents can sleep easier tonight knowing that the testing will continue for at least another 24 hours

At this point in the game, any break from the oil is happily received.

Relief Well Progression

After a little over 24 hours of the subsiding of the drilling of the relief wells for the well integrity test, DD3 and DD2 have been put back into production.

As of this morning, the Relief Wells are nearing the end of the precision phase of the relief effort, using magnetic ranging to give direction to assist steering the drill bit towards the blowout well bore and have drilled within 14.8 feet laterally from the well with an angle of 1.9 degrees.

So close, yet so far away for us Gulf Coast residents who are waiting for the intersection with bated breath.

Once the ranging is completed, the next step for the Relief Well will involve the drilling of 24 ft to the casing point which is hoping to be completed, by the middle to end of next week (July 21-July 25, 2010).

The final drilling intercept to kill the well will be the last week of July, a positive jump from the initial completion date of mid-August.

A friendly note to my local friends~ Enjoy your rest tonight. You’ll need your strength for the next coming days.

Copyright © 2010 ClearWater Perspective.  All rights reserved.


I went to an oil spill Q &A last night with local officials and I was chosen to ask three questions. My questions are in bold and the answers are below.  Feel free to post a comment!

1. Has there been talks about putting oxygen down into the sea floor to help the animals and/or to break up the oil faster via the algae growth?

Answer: NO. It was apparent to me that they are not concerned with the oxygen level (poor, innocent, animals!) as they are more with the lack of nitrogen and phosphorus.

Another problem with the oxygen, is that they are not sure how they could get oxygen down at that depth and a lot of the oil would already be on the sea floor. To me, it’s an obvious answer~ set up a pipe that is suspended mid sea and anchored into the sea floor with oxygen being released from the top AND at the bottom. When I offered that solution, that is when I was told that they were not so much worried about the oxygen than the lack of nitrogen and phosphorus. 😦

2. Does the Corexit dispersant have a smell to it? If not, how are they testing the seafood – since it appears that they are only sniffing the fish and looking for oil? (Dispersant is toxic as well).

Answer: The dispersant normally does not have a scent. There have been no real ways to test for the toxicity of the seafood in relation to the dispersant. (This is VERY concerning to me).

3. With the dispersant being biodegradable, is toxic rain a concern?

Answer. (Long pause). No. (No real further clarification, from my standpoint).

***I have to be honest when I state that I believe that toxic rain IS a very real possibility and will be continuing to look into it further.

If YOU have any questions regarding the oil spill, clean up efforts, wild life rescue, hurricane influenced actions and/or anything else, please send me a comment here and Ill do my best to answer it or find an answer to it.


I apologize for the break in updates on the oil spill as we have been preparing for the oil to hit our shorelines.

As of yesterday, June 4th- I am sad to announce that tar bars and some tar mats have came on shore in Escambia County and have traveled as far East to Navarre Beach, FL.

In the upcoming days, I will be collaborating all of my accumulated data and working on putting forth an overview of the last few days. Please stay tuned to this blog for more information.

Thank you for caring during this time of tragedy.


NOAA stated on 05.17.10~ that the oil plumes subsea were “grossly exaggerated; some are even false.”  NOAA is currently testing the water for hydrocarbons which would be related to the oil droplets subsea.  They have yet to give an estimated time of completion for the water testing. When can we expect to have that completed?

ALSO; I would like NOAA to confirm in what manner are testing the water samples for not only hydrocarbons but residue from the dispersant; as my fear is that Corexit 9500 & 9527A are causing the oil droplets to become heavy and sink; which is why they may be seeing less oil on the surface. However, satellite imagery can only detect so deep into the water.

ADDITIONALLY; In what ways are they tracking the loop current~ that is; the loop current does not move in purely one direction based off of one factor.  Further, how they are tracking the light oil sheen that has entered the loop current as of today on the surface AND subsea?

FURTHER; In what manner are they tracking the loop current and is there is any way that the connection between the loop current and the gulf stream can be separated.

FINALLY; In what manner are you preparing for hurricane season that starts June 1st? How are you planning on forecasting the oil spread in relation to any passing through hurricanes AND how many hurricanes (% of bad ones can we expect for the 2010 hurricane season?


KEY WEST, Fla. – The Coast Guard Marine Safety Laboratory in New London, Conn. analyzed a sampling of tar balls discovered on Florida Keys shoreline Tuesday and determined that none of the collected samples are from the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill.

A sampling of tar balls discovered on beaches at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, Fla., Smathers Beach in Key West, Big Pine Key, Fla., and Loggerhead Key in the Dry Tortugas National Park, Fla. were flown by a Coast Guard HU-25 Falcon jet based in Miami, Fla., to New London, Conn. Tuesday for testing and analysis.

The results of those tests conclusively show that the tar balls collected from Florida Keys beaches do not match the type of oil from the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The source of the tar balls remains unknown at this time.

Capt. Pat DeQuattro, commanding officer of Sector Key West, authorized the use of the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund Tuesday to commence cleanups of any oil pollution on Florida Keys shoreline and established a Unified Command comprised of members from the Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of the Interior, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Monroe County to manage the Florida Keys Tar Ball Incident response.

“The conclusion that these tar balls are not from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill incident in no way diminishes the need to continue to aggressively identify and clean up tar ball-contaminated areas in the Florida Keys,” DeQuattro said.  “We will continue to operate as a Unified Command and utilize funding through the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund until we have successfully identified any additional tar balls on the shoreline and completed cleanup efforts.”

Coast Guard pollution investigators from Sector Key West responded to a report of twenty tar balls found on the beach at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park in Key West Monday.  Coast Guard Sector Key West received notification from the Florida Park Service around 5:15 p.m. Monday of twenty tar balls ranging in size from approximately three to eight inches in diameter.  Park rangers conducted a shoreline survey of Fort Zachary Taylor and the adjacent Navy beach at Truman Annex and recovered the tar balls at a rate of nearly three tar balls an hour throughout the day, with the heaviest concentration found at high tide, around 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Coast Guard Sector Key West received notification from the National Response Center at approximately 8 a.m. of tar balls on the beach in Big Pine Key, followed by a 9 a.m. report of tar balls on Loggerhead Key in the Dry Tortugas National Park.  The report of tar balls on Smathers Beach came via telephone to watchstanders at Sector Key West at approximately 8:20 a.m.

The public is asked to report the sighting of any tar balls to the U.S. Coast Guard at 1 (800) 424-8802.  Any oiled shorelines can be reported to 1 (866) 448-5816.
The public is reminded that tar balls are a hazardous material, which while not dangerous to most people can cause an allergic reaction and should only be retrieved by trained personnel.  All beaches on the Florida Keys remain open.

Source: http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com


After much frustration and irritation with Unified Command, the State of Florida has decided to take control of the State’s proactive measures in protecting our shorelines from the threatening oil slick that resulted from an oil rig explosion on April 20, 2010.

Governor Charlie Crist issued an executive order creating the “Gulf Oil Spill Economic Recovery Task Force” (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Task Force” which will facilitate efforts by Florida businesses and industries recovering from the loss of business and revenues due to the Oil Spill.

The Task Force will take on the task of:

– Coordinating the state agencies efforts to assist small businesses and industries.

– Monitor BP’s efforts in providing financial relief to impacted businesses and industries, including but not limited to the claim process.

– Coordinate processes and efforts to gather economic loss data and industry economic indicators.

– Ensure through a marketing plan, that the vitality of the business and tourism industry continue to prosper.

– Develop a web site to disseminate information and to communicate with businesses and industries.

The Task Force will be compiled by appointment of the Governor. Membership of the Task Force shall reflect a broad spectrum of interested parties such as the:

– Director of the Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development

– Secretary of the Department of Children and Families

– Director of the Division of Management

– Executive Director of the Fish and Wildlife Commission

– Director of the Agency for Workforce Innovation

– Governor’s Director of the Office of Policy and Budget

– Executive Director of the Department of Revenue

–  A representative of Visit Florida

–  A representative of the Small Business Administration

–  A representative of the League of Cities

– A representative of the Association of Counties

– A representative of a local Chamber of Commerce

– A representative of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association

– A representative of the National Association of Charterboat Operators

– A representative of the seafood industry

The Task Force can also call on other State agency, department, division, or office to supply such data, reports or other information that is necessary to achieve its objectives and requests specifically for the Attorney General, Chief Financial Officer and the Commissioner of Agriculture to cooperate with the Task Force and provide it with such information, personnel, and assistance as necessary.

The Task Force will also ensure Florida continues marketing Florida as a tourism destination and provides information to Florida businesses and industries in coastal areas, including the fishing, wholesale trade, tourism, retail and manufacturing industries.

The Task Force will be required to send in a monthly report to the Governor outlining their non- compensated support efforts.  The meetings will be noted and open to the public.

As a life long Floridan, I applaud the Governor and supporting cabinet’s stance to take recovery matters into their own hands. If we waited for BP, ahem, Unified Command, to organize our State’s efforts- our proactive intention would turn into an after-the-fact effort resulting in catastrophic loss for animals and businesses alike.

I am proud of my fellow Floridians for standing up and coming together in this time of need. Together, we CAN make a difference!!

Source: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon/files/authorizations/exec_order_10_101.pdf


BP to offer training in conjunction with OSHA and the Coast Guard.

Health, Safety and Environmental Training has been a key focus to properly prepare those interested in participating in shoreline clean up. The training is fit-for-purpose based on whether you are a volunteer, contractor or vessel owner. The Post-Emergency Spilled Oil Response Training Modules were prepared by Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), with review and approval provided by BP, Occupational Safety & Health Administration and US Coast Guard personnel.

The training is for those registered in the Vessel of Opportunity program or as a contractor who wants to participate in clean up. The non-contaminated beach clean up “volunteers” will receive a basic BP health, safety & environmental orientation which as been endorsed by OSHA and the the Coast Guard.

To be included as a volunteer, please contact the BP volunteer hotline at 866-448-5816. Your contact information will be gathered and you will contacted when opportunities arise in your area.

****If you are interested in assisting in shoreline oil spill clean up operations, and you live in one of the coastal states (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama or Florida), you can request placement in a spill response course by emailing Horizonresponse@pecpremier.com.

PLEASE NOTE:: This course is not a guarantee of employment but provides credentials needed to be hired for spill cleanup work by BP contractors.

For more up to date information, visit http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.


Last Thurs, I was on a teleconference between the Department of the Interior, Coastguard, NOAA, EPA, BP and Transocean.  I put in for a question and I was selected first.

I felt BP should explain their reasoning behind that as OUR residents should be benefiting from those new jobs, not somebody else’s bank account out of state.  I asked Mary Cocklan- Vendl- (BP shoreline and response and BP Richard Sanener- BP shoreline technical advisor from the UK the logic behind this decision; specifically Santa Rosa County,  for the jobs that were being created were being outsourced to 3rd parties and NOT being given to our residents like initially promised. Much like the clean up after Hurricane Katrina.

A silence filled the room and then Mary replied, “We are employing SCAT (Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Techniques) employees to clean up the beach line. I then asked, when is the training going to be offered for the residents who are wanting to help with the clean up recovery. She said, “It is not. The SCAT group will ensure consistency, plans and managing boards for consistent data management.”   In response, I asked about the 4 hr hazmat training classes that were offered and why would residents be directed to that class, if that class was not even applicable to the oil cleaning and wildlife process.

Again, another silence filled the room. She then said, “I am not qualified to answer that question- the best way to find out information is to go to our ENVIRONMENTAL hotline at 1-866-448-5816.

I objected,  “That is the call center for your hotline and they only record information- They cannot offer clarification. They will not be able to help me which is why I posed *you* the question. Then a male voice spoke up and said, “or you can call 866-366-5511.

Then my call was disconnected. 0.0

I called the # ending in 5511 and it rang until a voice mail picked up saying I reached “American Office Products”. I left a msg and then another msg yesterday asking for a returned call. I still have yet to receive one.

In the meantime, I contacted the general call line again and raised holy cane saying that the BP official gave me this number and I want to talk to somebody who knows something. It took 28 min (literally) of convincing that I was who I said I was and that my intentions were pure. (I told them I wanted to help BP look better in the eyes of the media).  Then I was connected to a supervisor.

Karen (who was “not allowed” to give me her last name) answered and I asked her why are our local jobs, that were promised to us by BP, being given to a 3rd party? Also, what is going to happen to all of the volunteers in NW Fla who took the 4 hr hazmat training to help the oiled wildlife and that Santa Rosa County is in the works of offering hazmat training to assist.  Why would this training be given, if it is not applicable to the oil spill? Further, will people be allowed on the beaches with their hazmat certificate?

After much hemming & hawing, she replied that only SCAT officials will be allowed for clean up and wildlife assistance. That HAZMAT training was not specific enough. That they are drawing from the hazmat training class and supposedly tapping for higher interest within that knowledge pool.   (Side note:: I dont think this is happening. I think BP is trying to cover up the damage of the oil spill so they are contracting people to come out and report what “needs” to be reported.)

Obviously, I was not thrilled with that answer. So I kept pushing until she broke and she gave me the direct number for BP and told me to call to get through to the reception area and then asked for the aforementioned people by name. I left a msg and another follow up msg for both parties and will continue calling around that facility on Monday until I get another directory path.

Also, another problem surrounding that is the toll free number given by BP for an “oiled animal rescueline” that I am trying to get answers too is WHY are checking messages on an hourly basis? Time is of the essence when a bird is covered in oil and developing hypothermia because the body cannot retain the heat.  This appears rather heartless to me and I feel that messages needed to be checked more frequently.

The State of Florida is now taking control of the recovery wheel and pushing for more cleanup money. As the initial amount of $25 Million will not even be CLOSE to the amount of money that our counties will need to effectively rid the oil from our shorelines. Congressman Jeff Miller has put in a request for $1 Billion dollars to assist our State and is awaiting approval.  If our State is only given $25 million, we will risk a County bankruptcy for the recovery process will cost much more than that.  Escambia county just spent $1.2 billion dollars to buy booms to cover their shorelines, so this is a reasonable. How ironic since Unified Command stated that they would honor all “reasonable requests” yet denied our request for booms.

However, the question still remains, “How can we best assess Florida’s future damage that is caused to our small coastline businesses, the fishing and the tourism industry?” Hopefully by relying on the past year trends of condos, hotel, local tourist attraction revenue and calculating inflation into the equation, Florida can determine the answer on how to best help the struggling bystanders of this man made, careless oil spill in our beautiful Gulf of Mexico.

Copyright © 2010 ClearWater Perspective.  All rights reserved.


05.01.2010

Satellite images show the surface area of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has expanded to three times the size it was on Thursday.  On Thursday, the size of the slick was about 1,150 square miles, but by Friday’s end it was in the range of 3,850 square miles, said Hans Graber, executive director of the university’s Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing.  Comparatively speaking, the oil slick grew from a spill the size of Rhode Island to something closer to the size of Puerto Rico.

A sheen of oil from the edges of the slick washed up at Venice, Louisiana, and other extreme southeastern portions of  forcing Louisiana to close shrimping grounds and oyster beds. There has been no significant impact to Gulfport, Louisana;  Pascagoula, Mississippi; Biloxi or Mobile, Alabama routes at this time.

However, with the wind blowing from the south, parts of the oil slick could reach the Mississippi, Alabama and Florida coasts within 72-96 hours. Officials are coordinating relief efforts in all coastline states for oil absorption and wildlife rescue.

The spill  threatens hundreds of species of wildlife, including birds, dolphins, and the fish, shrimp, oysters and crabs that make the Gulf Coast one of the nation’s most abundant sources of seafood which prompted Florida, Alabama and Louisiana to declare a state of emergency due to economic downfall.

“With our natural resources, our businesses and our coastal communities in harm’s way, Alabama can’t afford to take anything for granted,” stated Alabama Governor Bob Riley.

There have been several attempts at a response to contain the oil spill, despite the currently tumultuous weather  and whipping winds.  Besides the two C130s that were sent to the Gulf yesterday, they also applied a test application of the dispersant at the source of the leak (submerged at 5,000 feet) in attempts to break up the oil before it reaches the surface. As of this point, 70,000 gallons of dispersant have been used in the effort to curtail the oil slick.

Additionally, 1 million feet of boom have been put into place but to little avail as the choppy waters of the Gulf are splashing over the boom. The relief well is being put into place but will not be utilized right away as the depth and distance of the leakage has to be taken into consideration.

Further, a coeffer dam is being discussed as a possible solution as well as placing a crimp approximately 2 feet above the stack to further lessen the amount of oil flow and cutting out a portion of the pipe altogether and replacing the faulty equipment.

A solution was presented in the teleconference to increase the flow through the five rivers that dump into the Mobile Bay as a counter resistance to the oil flow; however, this would only solve a portion of the problem.

The oil spill has been assessed to be more than 10 million gallons which is nearly as large as the slick created by the Exxon Valdez, when an oil tanker spilled 11 million gallons off Alaska’s shore in 1989 resulting in the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

When asked for an estimate of  the oil flow, Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, the newly appointed head man for the Gulf Coast oil spill replied, “any exact estimate is probably impossible at this time.” However, it is estimated that 200,000 gallons of oil are spewing out each day.

Regarding the flow rates, the Mobile Press Register reported that an internal memo from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that laid out a worst-case scenario of 50,000 barrels a day pouring from the unchecked wellhead.

Experts also cautioned that if the spill continues growing unchecked, sea currents could suck the sheen down past the Florida Keys and then up the Eastern Seaboard.

Although the cause of the explosion was under investigation, many of the more than two dozen lawsuits filed in the wake of the explosion claim it was caused when workers for oil services contractor Halliburton Inc. improperly capped the well — a process known as cementing. Halliburton denied the charges.

Copyright © 2010 ClearWater Perspective.  All rights reserved.