New Orleans, La. – BP has extra skimming vessels above the well site to recover the oil now spilling freely into the Gulf. It's also hooking up a production vessel to another part of the blown-out well. Once the new containment cap is attached, pressure readings will track the rate of oil gushing out of the well. The cap might be able to close off the leak. BP vice president Kent Wells says the system should be operational by mid-week, but is only a temporary solution.
New Orleans, La. – Mayor Landrieu was sworn into office about two months ago as the oil crisis was unfolding. In his first State of the City address, he's warning that Hurricane Katrina rebuilding money is almost gone. And the economic fallout from the oil spill on city coffers is still being tabulated.
"Our mission is clear. Cap the hole. Capture the oil. Clean the coast. Compensate the families and get back to work. This is an American tragedy and it requires a robust American response."
New Orleans, La. – Davis says dispersants being used to break up the oil spill are forming tar balls that sinlk below the surface and are drifting in water currents into the lake. He says it's impossible to fight oil that can't be seen as it drifts under booms and past other barriers. But retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen says Lake Pontchartrain's contamination may not be the dispersants fault.
New Orleans, La. – Oil keeps gushing around a loose-fitting cap at the seafloor. Retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen says seas are too rough to finish hooking up a third production vessel called the Helix. When it's expected to be on line in a few days, Allen says the surface operations could suck up most of the oil as it spills. Officials are still not sure about putting a tighter containment cap at the seabed because the blown out well would be wide open for a week while the switch is made.
New Orleans, La. – The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation has been leading efforts to improve water quality in the estuary system. It's seen a replenishment in recent years of fish and other marine life. But 1,000 pounds of oil and waste managed to find it's way through miles of protective wetlands. Foundation spokesman John Lopez:
New Orleans, La. – BP and the Coast Guard will hire wildlife experts to make sure there are no turtles caught up in the oil that's corralled and burned on the surface. After a fisherman raised concerns on YouTube, four environmental groups sought a restraining order to stop the controlled burns.
New Orleans, La. – The Centers for Disease Control and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have been reviewing test results on air samples taken in the response area. They looked at levels of exposure to oil, chemical dispersants and other hazardous material. OSHA Regional Administrator Cindy Coe met with clean-up workers this week in Venice. She says some workers were worried about the smoke that billows off oil burned at the surface.