Update from the Feds

Coast Guard UpdateThe “Source Kill” efforts are continuing. Relief well dd3 is 12521 feet down, which is 63% completed. Relief well dd2, the backup is about 40% completed. August is still the target date for stopping the well completely.The Coast Guard said that the 30 meter (~65 feet) “Safety zone” around boom and other response operations were put in place to stop vandalism, theft of anchors, and lights. The safety zone is not supposed to limit legitimate access. Of requests to access, only 1 has been granted.Some of the tar balls in Texas were fingerprinted and some of them are from BP. McFadden beach tested positive for BP released crude. Tar patties indicate that oil is moving westward with scattered impacts but ships may also be carrying the oil. Lake Pontchartrain was recently fouled because of recent higher than normal tides and strong wind brought enough oil to strand it near passes to the lake.NOAA Food Safety UpdateNOAA has the authority to protect seafood by closing impacted fishing areas. These areas are then monitored within and without the closed section. NOAA’s protocol for re-opening closed areas requires that two conditions be met. One, the area must be free of oil and the seafood must pass the sensory test and tox screen. Fish species with commercial and recreational value are chosen for testing. First, professional sniffers are used to smell the fish then tissue is tested for the presence of 12 PAH compounds of concern. If the fish does not smell right or if PAH chemicals exceed the legal limit then the samples failed. If the fish passed both tests, then the fishing area is re-sampled to confirm original findings. If samples pass a second time, and there is no oil, then the fishing zone can be reopened. Some sites have passed both tests and were slated to be reopened, but then oil moved back in. EPA Update On June 30th EPA released the first phase of acute toxicity testing of 8 oil dispersants on the National Contingency Plan product schedule. Tests were performed in a single lab using EPA standards to ensure consistency and comparability. EPA used two indicator species for the toxicity tests, a small fish and a shrimp species. After 96 hours EPA found that most dispersants were as toxic to the shrimp as the manufacturers said they were except Saffron gold and JD2000, which were less toxic than reported. For the small fish, Corexit 9500 and JD2000 were slightly less toxic than the manufacturers reported. Based on the classification of chemical toxicity, most dispersants would be considered slightly toxic (LC50 in the range of 2-10 ppm meaning that half the organisms die when the concentration of dispersant is between 2 and 10 parts per million). EPA is beginning the 2nd phase of dispersant testing which will include toxicity testing of Louisiana sweet crude oil and the combination of Louisiana sweet crude and dispersant. EPA expects the results in 2 weeks.US Fish and Wildlife Service UpdateWe still have not been given species specific information from NOAA so all we can report is total numbers. We are working hard to get the species data.The evacuation of sea turtle nests have started. Translocation of about 700 hatchlings in Florida and Alabama started last Friday. Species include loggerhead, Kemp’s Ridley, and green turtles hatchlings which normally emerge in early July. This is a huge translocation and has never before been attempted. Though FWS admits that hatchlings will be lost during this stressful process, experts agree that we need to save the 2010 cohort of hatchlings eggs before they are irretrievably impacted by the oil. The hatchlings are being transported to Cape Canaveral Space Center to be reburied.Birds: 2874 birds collected. 1789 collected dead. 1739 visibly oiled.Sea turtles: 651 sea turtles collected. 457 collected dead. 153 visibly oiled.Marine Mammals: 64 collected. 59 collected dead. 5 visibly oiled.Casey DeMoss Roberts is GRN’s Assistant Director of Water ResourcesCasey DeMoss Roberts is GRN’s Assistant Director of Water Resources

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