BP announced Wednesday that it has made $25 million block grants to each of the states of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida to help accelerate the implementation of Area Contingency Plans (ACPs). ACPs are approved plans that address the removal of a worst-case spill. They are designed to mitigate or prevent a substantial threat to sensitive areas.
"We are continuing to do all we can to stop the flow of oil from the well and also attack and capture the spilled oil offshore," said Tony Hayward, BP Group Chief Executive, in a written statement. "However, it is also vital that we work together with government and potentially impacted communities to protect the shoreline from any impact of the spill. We hope these grants will support the effective deployment of pre-prepared response plans in each state."
According to BP, the grants affect neither BP's MC252 response nor the existing claims process. Rather, they will supplement them and are meant to help local businesses to support clean-up and recovery effects. Each state will administer the grant money.
BP also stated Wednesday that it has positioned rapid response teams in Mobile, Ala., and Houma, La., to enable quick response and cleaning of areas where oil may come ashore. The 12-person teams reportedly will assess initial impacts and then call in a larger contingent of trained responders and volunteers to clean the affected area. In addition, BP will establish a rapid response team for Chandeleur Island.
The company also has been hosting town hall meetings in Gulf Coast communities for those who wish to volunteer on a cleanup crew or to volunteer their vessels for marine work. It indicated that more than 2,000 volunteers have been signed up and trained.
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