NEW ORLEANS (AP) - La. Gov. Jindal declares state of emergency as oil spill threatens fragile coastal ecosystem.
State of Louisiana FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Office of the Governor April 29, 2010
GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL
Governor Jindal Issues State Declaration of Emergency for Oil Leak
BATON ROUGE – Today, Governor Bobby Jindal issued a state declaration of emergency in preparation for predicted impact of oil along the Louisiana coast leaking from the Deepwater Horizon which threatens the state's natural resources.
Executive Proclamation STATE OF EMERGENCY – Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
WHEREAS, the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, R.S. 29:721, et seq., confers upon the Governor of the State of Louisiana emergency powers to deal with emergencies and disasters, including those caused by fire, flood, earthquake or other natural or man-made causes, in order to ensure that preparations of this State will be adequate to deal with such emergencies or disasters, and to preserve the natural resources of the State, lives and property of the people of the State of Louisiana;
WHEREAS, when the Governor determines that a disaster or emergency has occurred, or the threat thereof is imminent, R.S. 29:724(B)(1) empowers him to declare a state of emergency by executive order or proclamation;
WHEREAS, a declaration of emergency is necessary to allow state agencies to thoroughly prepare for and respond to any eventuality and to allow federal agencies and federal resources to be deployed if necessary;
WHEREAS, a declaration that a state of emergency exists is appropriate due to the predicted impact of oil along the Louisiana coast leaking from the Deepwater Horizon which threatens the state's natural resources, including land, water, fish, wildlife, fowl and other biota, and likewise threatens the livelihoods of Louisiana's citizens living along the coast which increases the economic impact of this incident;
WHEREAS, Pursuant to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the United States Coast Guard and BP, the Responsible Party, have established a Unified Area Command to coordinate efforts to control the spill and respond to its effects;
WHEREAS, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration models show the oil spill could reach parts of the Louisiana coastline Thursday, April 29, 2010, and proceed into the Breton Sound and Chandeleur Sound by Saturday, May 1, 2010. At this time, the Pass a L'Outre Wildlife Management Area is expected to see the first impact of the oil spill;
WHEREAS, a minimum of 10 additional state and national wildlife management areas and wildlife refuges in Louisiana and Mississippi are in the direct path of the oil plume and can be expected to be impacted. The Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary, Biloxi Wildlife Management Area, the Breton National Wildlife Refuge, Buccaneer State Park (MS), the Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge (MS), the Gulf Islands National Seashore National Park (MS), Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge National Wildlife Refuge (MS), and Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge (MS) are all in the direct path of the plume;
WHEREAS, Louisiana's coastline is comprised of 3.5 million acres of coastal wetlands, which represent approximately 40 percent of all the coastal wetlands in the Continental United States. Furthermore, billions of dollars in ongoing coastal restoration projects may be at risk because of this emergency; and
WHEREAS, federal and state agencies continue to monitor and respond to the leak, and have implemented several containment techniques to include skimming, application of dispersants, in-situ burning and deployment of protective booms in order to try and contain the spill. However, this has not slowed the diffusion of the oil, which has reached over a 600 square mile area and is about 16 miles off the Louisiana coast as of Thursday, April 29, 2010. Furthermore, weather and environmental conditions are quickening the spread of the oil, and it is now predicted that 5,000 barrels of oil a day continue to leak.
NOW THEREFORE I, BOBBY JINDAL, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: Pursuant to the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, R.S. 29:721, et seq., a state of emergency is declared to exist in the State of Louisiana as a result of the potential impact of oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon along the Louisiana coast which has created emergency conditions that threaten the natural resources of the State, and the economic livelihood and property of the citizens of the State.
SECTION 2: The Director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is hereby authorized to undertake any activity authorized by law which he deems necessary and appropriate in response to this declaration, and all state agencies are hereby authorized to take any actions directed by the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in response to this emergency, to include providing direct support tot eh federal government and the Responsible Party.
SECTION 3: The state of emergency extends from Thursday, April 29, 2010 through Saturday, May 29, 2010, unless terminated sooner.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the City of Baton Rouge, on this Thursday, 29th day of April, 2010.
GOVERNOR OF LOUISIANA
SECRETARY OF STATE