GRAY—Today, Governor Bobby Jindal joined coastal parish presidents to meet with Retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, Coast Guard Admiral Paul Zukunft and BP Vice President Mike Utsler to discuss transition plans for oil spill response efforts.
Following the meeting, the Governor held a media availability with the coastal parish presidents.
Governor Jindal said, "The meeting today was contentious, but productive. There are four main points that we believe must be included in the transition plans.
"First, we continue to stress to the Coast Guard and BP the need for local involvement in decisions about the transition. There needs to be greater parish involvement before decisions are made. Before the state signs off on any type of plan, the Coast Guard has agreed to meet with every coastal parish over the next seven days to develop detailed transition plans. This cannot be a one-size-fits-all plan. These decisions shouldn't be made for the parishes, they should be made with the parishes.
"Every parish is different and resources should only be shifted based on circumstances in each parish. The Coast Guard and BP have also agreed to not unilaterally shift any resources over the next week while parish officials meet with the Coast Guard to develop plans. The bottom line is that the people living in these areas know them better than anyone else and they should have a seat at the table.
"Second, in addition to surface oil, sub-merged oil must be included as a trigger in the plans. We know there is sub-merged oil out there off our coast and it needs to be a benchmark for any decisions about how and when resources are moved.
"Third, we requested that any transition plan must include an explicit agreement that certain resources remain until the end of hurricane season. The Coast Guard agreed to include this component.
"Fourth and finally, the parishes and Coast Guard must agree upon a baseline of equipment, personnel and other resources that are needed to remain in place throughout the threat of oil in our waters and on our coast.
"This is a marathon for our state and there continue to be challenges. Indeed, according to the federal government's own estimates, there are still over a million barrels of oil in the water so we must remain vigilant. According to National Incident Command, since the beginning of the oil spill, 609 miles of our shoreline has been oiled and 382 miles of our shoreline are currently oiled. We also continue to be concerned about the long-term effects of the oil spill and that's why we're still urging BP to approve a long-term seafood safety and marketing plan. To date, BP has not responded to this request."