Coastal Catastrophe: What's the latest? - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Coastal Catastrophe: What's the latest?

By Michael Addison - email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - As of Monday morning, here's what we know about the BO oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico:

* Nearly 2,000 workers are currently responding to the crisis

* More than 100 vessels are helping in the effort

* Over 156,000 gallons of dispersant have been deployed

* Response crews are working on five different methods to break up the oil and redirect it.

* The Coast Guard and the Minerals Management Service are sharing jurisdiction for the investigation into the cause

* The joint investigation will have the power to issue subpoenas, hold public hearings, call witnesses, and take other steps that may be needed to determine the cause of the incident.

According to President Barack Obama, there's no quick fix. He says the challenge is going to be plugging the hole.

Over the weekend, the President was in Louisiana getting an update on the recovery efforts, and he also talked with a group of fishermen. He promised them that the federal government would throw every resource available at the problem.

Louisiana's $2.5 billion dollar fishing industry looks likely to suffer a major hit from the spill. Newly out-of-work commercial fishermen are looking for work or training from BP, the company which owned the gulf rig.

BP has indicated it will reimburse volunteers at the rate of $10 per hour. Contractors are also hiring people to support shoreline clean up. Those rates go as high as $18 per hour for supervisors.

To volunteer, just call 1-866-448-5816.

The spill is also forcing closures. Officials have announced a ban on fishing for at least 10 days from the Louisiana delta to the Florida panhandle.

Despite the state's budget trouble, Governor Jindal says there won't be any problems paying for the clean up.

Jindal expects BP to reimburse all response costs, but he says the state can tap into a 143-million dollar emergency response fund if needed.

Meanwhile, attorneys general from Texas to Florida have laid out a plan that specifically spells out how they will demand the government and BP make this problem right for the citizens.

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