Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Opportunity knocks

"We expect that a complete review of the regional response plans and planning process will take place as part of the overall incident investigation so that we can determine what worked well and what needs improvement. Thus far we have implemented the largest spill response in history and many, many elements of it have worked well. However, we are greatly disappointed that oil has made landfall and impacted shorelines and marshes. The situation we are dealing with is clearly complex, unprecedented and will offer us much to learn from." -- BP spokesman Daren Beaudo

Some of the things from those plans that didn't exactly work well and might benefit from a review...
  • BP's 2009 response plan for a Gulf of Mexico oil spill lists Professor Peter Lutz of the University of Miami as a national wildlife expert. He died in 2005. He'd also left the University of Miami about 15 years before that.
  • The plan mentions "sensitive biological resources" such as walruses, sea otters, sea lions and seals, none of which can be found anywhere near the Gulf of Mexico.
Other than that (well, mostly that but also a few minor things like severe flaws in calculating the spill volume based on the darkness of oil sheen, underestimation of the availability of enough boats and other water craft needed to respond, any mention whatsoever of the Gulf's loop current which could eventually send oil all the way down Florida's west coast and into the Atlantic Ocean, and the names, phone numbers and web sites for marine life specialists at Texas A & M University, marine mammal stranding offices in Louisiana and Florida and at least one contractor for emergency equipment being invalid or non-existent, among other things), solid work, fellas.

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