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The United States will accept 22 offers of assistance from 12 countries and international bodies

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  • The United States will accept 22 offers of assistance from 12 countries and international bodies

    Many foreign offers to help with oil spill still hanging, website indicates
    Published: Saturday, June 19, 2010, 5:22 AM
    Sean Reilly

    Full Text:

    WASHINGTON -- Some 28 foreign countries and international organizations have offered help in responding to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, but the bulk of those overtures remain "under consideration," according to a tally posted on the U.S. State Department's website. []

    On May 10, for example, the United Arab Emirates offered to send oil skimmers, dispersant and containment boom, along with human and technical support, the website says. As of Friday, no decision had been made on any of those propositions, the site indicates.

    Also pending for more than a month are offers of containment boom and skimmers from the European Maritime Safety Agency; containment and fire boom from Germany; and bird rehabilitation equipment from France.

    ... response officials have accepted a few,
    including boom from Canada and skimming systems from Norway. A French offer of dispersant was rejected on the grounds that the chemicals were not approved for use in the United States.

    Reached early Friday evening, a State Department spokeswoman referred questions to the Coast Guard, which passed them to the Unified Command Center for the spill response in New Orleans. There, spokesman John Curry did not specifically know why some offers had been left hanging.

    "The bottom line is that we have a lot of boom and we have a lot of dispersant that we are already using," Curry said.

    But with crucial equipment having run short at times,
    the Obama administration faces questions about whether it has done enough to mobilize all available supplies. ...

    Sessions also joined other Republicans in seeking a speedy waiver of the Jones Act - which requires cargo transported by water between U.S. ports to be carried on U.S.-built, flagged and crewed ships - if that requirement is stopping the government from making use of "potentially useful foreign vessels." Several countries have offered ships, according to the State Department roundup.

    On Thursday, however, an administration official confirmed only one actual request for a Jones Act waiver, but said it was for foreign-built barges when American-flagged equivalents were available.[

    Earlier this week, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said that any waiver requests would get fast-track handling. On Friday, three GOP senators, including George LeMieux of Florida and Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, introduced legislation to temporarily waive the act, according to a news release.

    [State Department PDF showing status of international help offers:[/url]]

  • #2
    The United States will accept 22 offers of assistance from 12 countries and international bodies

    Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: International Offers of Assistance

    <!-- END TITLE -->
    Office of the Spokesman

    Washington, DC

    June 29, 2010

    <HR class=separator>
    The National Incident Command and the Federal On Scene Coordinator have determined that there is a resource need for boom and skimmers that can be met by offers of assistance from foreign governments and international bodies.

    The United States will accept 22 offers of assistance from 12 countries and international bodies, including two high speed skimmers and fire containment boom from Japan. We are currently working out the particular modalities of delivering the offered assistance. Further details will be forthcoming once these arrangements are complete.

    The Unified Area Command (UAC) under the direction of the Coast Guard, is coordinating the oil spill response in the Gulf. It includes representatives of the responsible parties, affected states and other Departments and agencies of the U.S. Government. The National Incident Command (NIC), headed by the U.S. Coast Guard, is working with the Department of State to support the UAC as it sources equipment, supplies and expertise.

    The 27 countries which have offered the U.S. Government assistance are: the Governments of Belgium, Canada, China, Croatia, Denmark, El Salvador, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

    The international bodies offering assistance are: the European Maritime Safety Agency, the European Commission’s Monitoring and Information Centre, the International Maritime Organization, and the Environment Unit of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the United Nations Environment Program.

    The Department has released a chart of offers of assistance that the U.S. has received from other governments and international bodies. The chart is updated as necessary to include any additional offers of assistance and decisions on accepting the offers. The chart is posted on the State Department Web site at:

    Questions on the details of offers of assistance, and any additional discussions between other countries and BP, should be directed to the Unified Area Command. The UAC Joint Information Center phone numbers are 713-323-1670or 713-323-1671
    (Note: These are new phone numbers.)
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