Coast Guard Commandant Designated National Incident Commander for Continued Response to BP Oil Spill

As part of the designation of the BP Oil Spill as a Spill of National Significance, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced that U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen will serve as the National Incident Commander for the administration’s continued, coordinated response—providing additional authority and oversight in leveraging every available resource to respond to the BP oil spill and minimize the associated environmental risks.

As National Incident Commander, Admiral Allen will continue to work closely with Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry, the federal on-scene coordinator, and the Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, Interior and Commerce, the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal departments and agencies as appropriate—as well as BP, the responsible party in the spill—to ensure the efficient continued deployment and coordination of vital response assets, personnel and equipment that were activated immediately after the spill began.

Admiral Allen has overseen Coast Guard efforts since the moment this incident began, when the agency responded quickly to the April 20 explosion in a search and rescue capacity in order to save lives. Since then, the administration has continuously anticipated and planned for a worst case scenario, and with this formal designation Admiral Allen will continue to lead and coordinate ongoing federal actions to mitigate the oil spill, for which BP is responsible and required to pay response and cleanup costs.

Admiral Allen assumed the duties of the 23rd Commandant of the Coast Guard on May 25, 2006. As such, he leads a major component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), comprised of approximately 42,000 men and women on active duty, 7,000 civilians, 8,000 reservists and 34,000 volunteer auxiliarists. He is the only four-star Admiral of the Coast Guard, and is appointed for a four year term by the President of the United States. The Coast Guard Commandant reports directly to the President, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of Defense.

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  1. J.P. says:

    Why not try anchoring large ships stem-stern at the northern edge[coastalside] of the spill just like the small retention barriers. They could be backed up by as many rows of fishing boats to fillin any gaps. It’s easier to clean the 100,s of boats then the shoreline. [not to mention possibly saving the ecological damage!

  2. Lynn says:

    There would be “holes” in the barrier if ships were lined up. Oil containment boom is set such that those openings aren’t available. On top of that, the skirt portion of the boom is designed not only as an anchoring mechanism (keeps it floating straight down rather than flapping below the water) in the water, but it keep oil from entraining under the boom, just below the water edge…a line of ships huills would not keep this from happening. The particular boom being used in much of this response is referred to as ocean boom..essentially the same material as any other boom but it has a much longer skirt…roughly 18-24 inches below the floating pontoon looking portion.

  3. Susan Hitchcock says:

    To Admiral Thad Allen, Sir: The following is an e-mail I sent to BP last week. My father has a proposal for capping the wellpipe in the Gulf. He has extensive design and fabrication experience as well as quality assurance in the aerospace industry. I forwarded his suggestion because he has practical solutions to problems and is available for consultation. Basically the cap is a solid steel conical shaped plug inside of a sleeve put in place robotically and driven into the pipe with a charge of explosive. (See text description below) His comment to me last week was that the Horizon proposed dome would not work. Later last week when BP responded, rejecting his idea, he felt it was not because of it’s technical merit. I am forwarding it to you now, in the hopes that you will forward it to an appropriate person. (His contact information is included below) Incidently my father works for the Coast Guard Auxilliary out of Harwich, Massachusetts and designed and built a communications system for the Coast Guard which will alow real time photographic and GPS communication for the coastal patrols he flies.

    To British Petroleum Spill Response web site:
    Machinist’s Solution: Sirs, My father, George Hitchcock (205 Beach Road, Orleans, MA. 02653) has a solution to capping the leaking wells at deep ocean depths. The work would be done robotically. I have a detail drawing but was unable to insert it. His background is extensive. He is available for consultation (508) 255-6882. I can send the drawing if you provide an e-mail address. If you use his idea please give him credit.

    Subject: Well Plug
    Date: Sun, 2 May 2010 19:33:12 -0400

    Hi Sue:
    The idea is to cut the well pipe at a distance above the bottom at a point before the point where the pipe is deformed by the bend formed in the collapse. (primer cord will cut the pipe without deforming it) The sleeve (see detail drawing) with the plug and explosive driver is placed on to the well pipe and the explosive charge drives the plug into the pipe, expanding it and making a seal with the plug and added sleeve. The heavy wall of the sleeve is used to prevent the tapered plug from being driven with too much force into the well pipe and splitting it. The plug will seal the inside of the well pipe and the sleeve will make a seal on the outside of the well pipe. The plug will work best if the angle of the taper on the plug is a small angle. The plug needs to easily slide in the sleeve, however; to hold the plug in place until everything is placed over the well-head some friction must be added to the plug. A small soft steel pin could be inserted through the sleeve on either side of and into the plug. The pins would be sheared off at the time of the explosion.

    Sincerely, Susan Hitchcock
    US Army, Construction Quality Control

  4. nick mchenry says:

    2 ideas: inject liquid nitrogen 20ft below the preventer with a quick freezing material to slow the flow of oil . then repeat the process 20 ft lower. etc. as an alternative or as a complement , cut 3openings below the preventer the first opening ie the lowest to allow a thermite rod to introduce an extreme heat source,then the second opening just above introduce a plasma which will melt from the extreme heat forming aplug iam thinking molten glass, the third opening would introduce amesh to begin collecting the molten material and begin to clog the pipe ,once the material begins to backfill the molten material will begin to become hotter and more dense ultimately we have a glass plug once it cools! think what lava does at great depts

  5. Shanen Givone says:

    Dear Sir,
    After finally getting a view of the pipe leaking oil,(on tv) and seeing that the wreckage of the rig is not congesting it, but, indeed, it looks quite easily approachable, could you not just have someone crimp the pipe or ‘cap’ it, ONCE AND FOR ALL?
    The idea of having a second well drilled seems to me to be a goal for BP to maintain it’s rig in our oceans and not have to leave. This is the Chernobyl of the SEA!!! Please use all efforts, all your pull… and get the leak stopped. Don’t let them bully you, cajole you or thwart any of your efforts to get the leak stopped. For God’s sake! For all of our sakes. Don’t let them put in another oil well. I wish you much luck. Shanen

  6. Curtis D. says:

    How about using something like a angioplasty balloon? Insert it into the pipe, inflate it to fill the pipe cutting of the flow of oil?

  7. Dave Celis says:

    The oil spill in the gulf … why can’t they take some of those HUGE sewer pipes (20 feet across) and set them over the well (a mile of them) up to near the surface where the oil could then be vacuumed up?

  8. cgnews says:

    Those pipes wouldn’t be able to withstand the pressure exerted on them at a mile underwater.