Following the extensive three-year cleanup effort, the U.S. Coast Guard is ending active cleanup operations in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
The three states named are expected to complete the transition back to the National Response Center (NRC) reporting system by mid June 2013. The announcement is the result of the extraordinary progress made cleaning the Gulf of Mexico shoreline.
Working under the direction of the Coast Guard, and in cooperation with state agencies and local governments, BP has spent more than $14 billion and 70 million personnel hours on response and cleanup activities. Due to the extensive cleanup effort, early restoration projects and natural recovery processes, the Gulf is returning to its baseline condition, which is the condition it would be in if the accident had not occurred.
At its peak in 2010, the response and cleanup effort involved more than 48,000 people. More than 110,000 miles of aerial reconnaissance flights were conducted across 14,000 miles of shoreline. Assessment teams then conducted ground-based surveys across nearly 4,400 miles of shoreline, identifying approximately 1,100 miles that experienced some level of oiling and 778 miles that required some measure of cleaning.
“The transition is a significant milestone toward fulfilling our commitment to clean the Gulf shoreline and ensuring that the region’s residents and visitors can fully enjoy this majestic environment,” said Laura Folse, BP’s Executive Vice President for Response and Environmental Restoration. “Even as the Coast Guard has made the decision to move these states to the National Response Center reporting system, should residual Macondo oil appear on the shoreline, BP remains committed and prepared to address it under the direction of the Coast Guard.”