It took them a few days – and a certain working of the phone lines by us – but Unified Command’s press shop finally came up with its officials dates on dispersant use in the Gulf.
A Coast Guard staffer at Unified Command gave us these dates:
- the last application of sub-sea dispersant was July 15 – 8,391 gallons
- the last application of surface & aerial dispersant was July 19 – 200 gallons applied aerially
That leaves the official tally of dispersant dumped into and on the Gulf at approx. 1.84 million gallons — 1,070,000 on surface and 771,000 sub-sea.
As long as the well stays capped, BP may likely not apply more dispersants. But who knows.
Everyone who cares should be watching the daily numbers – this is probably how we’ll learn if and when they start using dispersants again.
The controversy about dispersants hasn’t died down, however. Recent perspectives on the dispersants are here, here, here, here and here.
We’ve crunched the numbers from the Deepwater Horizon Unified Command press shop, compiling their daily stats for dispersants used in the Gulf of Mexico so far – and the official dispersant numbers for the past week are surprising:
According to official releases, a “very small” amount of dispersants have been used in the oil spill response since July 16 – and none sub-sea. The statements released by Unified Command on each day since July 15 is exactly the same:
“Approximately 1.84 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied—1.07 million on the surface and 771,000 sub-sea.”
A call to Unified Command’s press center today yielded this comment – “In the last 24 hours, no dispersants have been used.” The staffer then called back and stated “No dispersant has been used sub-sea since the cap went on. A very small amount of surface dispersant has been used since then.” The cap went on the well on July 15th.
This revelation should no doubt please Drs. Sylvia Earle, David Gallo, Susan Shaw, David Guggenheim and the countless other marine scientists and advocates who have been asking the Obama administration to order BP to halt its use of dispersants in the Gulf – issuing a ‘consensus statement’ urging a halt to any further use of dispersants in the Gulf.
It remains critical that the scientists and advocates continue to monitor the dispersant situation – while BP has drastically reduced dispersant use this past week, the oil giant could ramp it back up at any time.