Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Despite plan, not a single fire boom on hand on Gulf Coast at time of oil spill: Where Were The Fire Booms ?

Heck of a job big government Obama ---

Despite plan, not a single fire boom on hand on Gulf Coast at time of oil spill --- The plan referred to is the 1994 Oil Spill Response Plan with was authorized by the 1990 OPA to be the nations pre-approved spill response plan. Why pre-approved, it was recognized that time was critical, and having the plan pre-approved was important. But if no one bought and stocked the fire booms, all bets were off.
The "In-Situ Burn" plan produced by federal agencies in 1994 calls for responding to a major oil spill in the Gulf with the immediate use of fire booms.

But in order to conduct a successful test burn eight days after the Deepwater Horizon well began releasing massive amounts of oil into the Gulf, officials had to purchase one from a company in Illinois.

When federal officials called, Elastec/American Marine, shipped the only boom it had in stock, Jeff Bohleber, chief financial officer for Elastec, said today.

At federal officials' behest, the company began calling customers in other countries and asking if the U.S. government could borrow their fire booms for a few days, he said.

A single fire boom being towed by two boats can burn up to 1,800 barrels of oil an hour, Bohleber said. That translates to 75,000 gallons an hour, raising the possibility that the spill could have been contained at the accident scene 100 miles from shore.
And the tragedy of it all becomes clear:
"They said this was the tool of last resort. No, this is absolutely the asset of first use. Get in there and start burning oil before the spill gets out of hand," Bohleber ( Jeff Bohleber, chief financial officer for Elastec) said. "If they had six or seven of these systems in place when this happened and got out there and started burning, it would have significantly lessened the amount of oil that got loose."

In the days after the rig sank, U.S Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry said the government had all the assets it needed. She did not discuss why officials waited more than a week to conduct a test burn.
Mary Landry, typical big government drone, not wanting to say anything bad about why there was only one fire boom in federal stock. it's paramount to why big government will fail you every time.
VIDEO: Coast Guard admiral responds to fire boom queries

At a press conference in Mobile on May 4, 2010, U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry answers questions about the availability of fire booms for the response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.Answering the question with another question, the responsible authority had no fire boom in stock. (Watch Coast Guard video of test burns here.)

But when all was said and done -- This left only one fire boom for use, which surprisingly it was not put to, because of EPA concerns of air pollution. The pre-approved 1994 plan was not followed. The spill was not contained offshore.

Ron Gouguet, who wrote portions of the 1994 containment plan, and also managed Louisiana's oil response team for a time, said federal officials missed a narrow window of opportunity to gain control of the spill by burning last week, before the spill spread hundreds of miles across the Gulf, and before winds began blowing toward shore:
Asked why officials waited for a week before conducting even a test burn, Gouguet said, "Good question. Maybe complacency was the biggest issue. They probably didn't have the materials on hand to conduct the burn, which is unconscionable."
The fire boom can be used to burn oil as long as waves are below 3 feet, according to the manufacturer.

And just today, better late than never --  BP gets OK to burn off captured oil, gas at sea

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