Segmant of a post by Bill Cumming on his blog (7/11) federal management of the Oill spill disaster:
We are now witnessing …the totally inadequate response offered under the National Contingency Plan wherein with the US Coast Guard as Incident Commander it is now increasing faced with issues of on-shore impacts of the BP catastrophe including economic impacts and social and psychological impacts. The NCP is totally inadequate for these concerns and …has already demonstrated that fact as the Administration relies on a BP fund that will really only be fully implemented by the end of 2013 to fund damage and loss claims arising from their negligence. Yet both the Administration and Congress are betting their will be a BP around and that organizations other than FEMA can gear up for this largest environmental disaster in world history other than drought and that reliance is totally appropriate and adquate. I respectfully disagree.
The Gulf Oil Disaster: Three Steps to Federal Leadership; 3 pp. Commentary from the GWU Homeland Security Policy Institute, July 7, 2010. The authors argue for the involvement of DHS and the use of the National Response Framework.
See the Hazards Observer, July 2010, for new article titled The Long, Long Road from Exxon Valdez to Deepwater Horizon; pp. 7-10. This thoughtful article makes many useful points about the similarities and differences of the two events; I suggest you read it all. One quote worth remembering:
The overarching lesson we can share from our Exxon Valdez research is that the potential for negative, long-term community impacts must not be underestimated.”
Gulf Oil Spill: Scientists Beg For A Chance To Take Basic Measurements, Huffington Post, July 7.
A group of independent scientists, frustrated and dumbfounded by the continued lack of the most basic data about the 77-day-old BP oil disaster, has put together a crash project intended to definitively measure how much oil has spilled and where and how it is spreading throughout the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
All interesting articles. My advocacy for a Stafford Act declaration really has nothing to do with FEMA except that it gives the President and his leadership team additional arrows in the quiver to shoot at the spill. FEMA could be in support role still and could cooperate and collaborate with whomever President wants as the Federal Coordinating Officer. Historically FEMA at the FCO had to be a FEMA officer, but this is not required and has not always been observed by the White House. Get the best of the best and this may not be in FEMA’s FCO cadre.