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Current Situation

Gulf of Mexico spill update 

July 12 -Gulf of Mexico spill update: Since the April 20 oil rig disaster, BP continues to collect & disperse oil that has reached the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. Several methods are currently being used to contain or remove the oil, they include: dispersants, skimming, in-site burning to reduce the amount of oil on the water and help reduce the impact to the environment, skimmers- floating boom system to sweep oil across the water surface and Vessels of opportunity independent vessel owners are contracting their boats in a variety of oil recovery activities. For more information on the current situation go to:  Deepwater Horizon

NOAA provides daily forecasts, climate monitoring, fisheries management and coastal restoration.      NOAA's Daily Update on the the oil spill

EDEN delegates can use the Response Notes utility to share situations, needs and response activities for this disaster. 



Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant 

The Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant programs (LA, Texas, Miss/Ala and Florida) have established a portal on their regional website to provide the latest information about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The portal is updated daily and provides contact number for reporting beached oil, oiled wildlife and spill-related damage. It links to updates on the spill, information on seafood safety, volunteer cleanup opportunities and more. The portal can be accessed at Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill.

In response to consumer concerns about oil contaminated seafood reaching the marketplace, the Louisiana Sea Grant program , has produced a short video outlining the precautions taken to ensure tainted seafood does not end up on the table. The one minute-video , available for viewing from the Louisiana Sea Grant's website, demonstrates how trained inspectors detect oil contaminated seafood as part of the daily screening process.


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FTC Warns of Oil Spill Scams 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says it is likely that scammers will use emails, websites, door-to-door collections, flyers, mailings & telephone calls to contact consumers & solicit money on behalf of oil spill victims. If you suspect that someone is committing fraud related to the spill, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Calls at 1-866-720-5721.

The FTC works to prevent fraudulent deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them, To file a complaint call toll- free, 1-877-382-4357.


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IRS has Information for Gulf Oil Spill Victims 

The  Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has established a special telephone line for taxpayers affected by the Gulf oil spill. Individuals who have questions about the BP payments or who are experiencing filing or payment hardships because of the oil spill should contact the IRS at 866-562-5227. The special services line operates from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time.

For further information, including the tax treatment of BP compensation payments go to Questions & Answers about the Gulf oil spill on the IRS website, www.IRS.gov.

 


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University and VOAD Responses and Regional Oil Spill Task Force 

Universities in the affected states are looking for opportunities to put their research and outreach capabilities to use in the face of this disaster. An Oil Spill Academic Task Force has been organized in Florida with fifteen universities participating. The task force is working with NOAA and EPA on pre-assessment sampling.

Similarly, the state Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOADs) are engaged. Louisiana VOAD had a first conference call May 3. Representatives of several environmental associations with on-going activities in coastal protection and restoration participated. A major challenge in Louisiana and across the Gulf coast is managing volunteers, volunteer training, and donations. 

While there has been information on the eXtension site since early June, there is now an official landing page located under the Disaster Issues Resource Area http://www.extension.org/oil spill. Content includes feature articles, Frequently Asked Questions, news stories and the ability to categorize incoming Ask an Expert questions with the “oil spill” tag. The new Oil Spill Community of Practice has 13 members and 3 identified leaders and work is underway to develop new content and membership. The regional task forces identified by the Gulf state Extension and Sea Grant directors are developing this eXtension content. Other Communities of Practice, including Financial Security for All, are contributing content, as appropriate. Resources on eXtension for the public are complementary to educational packages for Extension educators hosted on the EDEN website.


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Last Updated:7/14/2010 9:13 AM
 

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