Unified Command Set Up to Combat Gulf Spill

U.S. Coast Guard
ST. PETERSBURG (2010-5-5) -

The services of several government offices are being combined at a command post in St. Petersburg, just in case the Gulf oil slick gets closer to Florida's west coast.

The unified command is being set up to craft a quick response if the oil slick creeps closer. It includes the Coast Guard, state Department of Environmental Protection, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and emergency management agencies for counties up and down the Gulf Coast - as well as BP.

Petty Officer Marianna O'Leary is with the U.S. Coast Guard.

"The unified command will work with partner agencies here locally to set up booms in areas that have been pre-determined to be at high risk, due to their sensitivity for environment and whatnot," O'Leary says. "So we do have the capability to place booms. It would be determined by what the oil looks like when it gets here, consistency, how much of it, where it's going."

O'Leary says contractors are on standby to help clean up any oil that washes ashore. She says we'll likely have a 72-hour head start if the slick heads east.

To view preparations to combat the oil slick, click on www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com

Here's some telephone numbers for more information:

  • Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center: (985) 902-5231 and (985) 902-5240
  • Report oiled shoreline or request volunteer information: (866)-448-5816
  • Submit alternative response technology, services or products: (281) 366-5511
  • Submit your vessel as a vessel of opportunity skimming system: (281) 366-5511
  • Submit a claim for damages: (800) 440-0858
  • Report oiled wildlife: (866) 557-1401
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