DATE: June 30, 2010 16:51:40 CST
Coast Guard establishes 20-meter safety zone around all Deepwater Horizon protective boom; operations
Key contact numbers
•Report oiled shoreline or request volunteer information: (866) 448-5816
•Submit alternative response technology, services or products: (281) 366-5511
•Submit your vessel for the Vessel of Opportunity Program: (866) 279-7983 or (877) 847-7470
•Submit a claim for damages: (800) 440-0858
•Report oiled wildlife: (866) 557-1401
Deepwater Horizon Incident
Joint Information Center
Phone: (713) 323-1670
NEW ORLEANS - The Captains of the Port for Morgan City, La., New Orleans, La., and Mobile, Ala. , under the authority of the Ports and Waterways
Safety Act, has established a 20- meter safety zone surrounding all Deepwater Horizon booming operations and oil response efforts taking place in
Vessels must not come within 20 meters of booming operations, boom, or oil spill response operations under penalty of law.
The safety zone has been put in place to protect members of the response effort, the installation and maintenance of oil containment boom, the
operation of response equipment and protection of the environment by limiting access to and through deployed protective boom.
In areas where vessels operators cannot avoid the 20-meter rule, they are required to be cautious of boom and boom operations by transiting at a safe
speed and distance.
Violation of a safety zone can result in up to a $40,000 civil penalty. Willful violations may result in a class D felony.
Permission to enter any safety zone must be granted by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port of New Orleans by calling 504-846-5923.
"Media, boaters could face criminal penalties by entering oil cleanup 'safety zone'"
Published: Thursday, July 01, 2010, 7:10 PM Updated: Thursday, July 01, 2010, 7:15 PM
Chris Kirkham, The Times-Picayune
"According to a news release from the Unified Command, violation of the "safety zone" rules can result in a civil penalty of up to $40,000, and
could be classified as a Class D felony."
"But federal officials said the buffer zone is essential to the clean-up effort."
"The safety zone has been put in place to protect members of the response effort, the installation and maintenance of oil containment boom, the
operation of response equipment and protection of the environment by limiting access to and through deployed protective boom," the news release
"The Coast Guard on Tuesday had initially established an even stricter "safety zone" of more than 300 feet, but reduced the distance to 20 meters -
65 feet - on Wednesday. In order to get within the 65-foot limit, media must call the Coast Guard captain of the Port of New Orleans, Edwin Stanton,
to get permission."
"Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander for the oil spill, said in a press briefing Thursday that it is "not unusual at all"
for the Coast Guard to establish such a safety zone, likening it to a safety measure that would be enacted for "marine events" or "fireworks
demonstrations" or for "cruise ships going in and out of port.""