"The response to the Deepwater Horizon spill continues to the present. As of July 15, 2010--the day the well stopped flowing--the response involved approximately 44,000 responders; more than 6,870 vessels (including skimmers, tugs, barges, and recovery vessels); approximately 4.12 million feet of boom; 17,500 National Guard troops from Gulf Coast states; five states; multiple corporations; and untold hours of work by federal, state, and local officials; employees or contractors of BP; and private citizens. The spill response is governed by the National Contingency Plan (NCP), a set of federal regulations that prescribe how the government will respond to oil spills. In some respects, the response effectively implemented the provisions of the plan and helped to mitigate the most serious negative impacts of the spill. In other respects, the plan was inadequate to handle the scale of the spill--its magnitude, duration, and effects on many stakeholders. This working paper describes the structure of the spill response and the roles of various government and private actors within that structure. The paper identifies situations in which responders altered, or operated outside of, the National Contingency Plan structure and suggests possible recommendations for improvement of that structure in the future."
Staff Working Paper No. 2
National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling: http://www.oilspillcommission.gov/