Brussels, 1 July 2010
US accepts further EU support to combat oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
The Federal On-Site Coordinator in US has accepted yesterday night an oil cleaning device to combat the environmental consequences of the oil spill that is polluting the waters of the Gulf of Mexico since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling well on 20 April. The US has accepted a high capacity, high speed off-shore skimmer offered by the European Union through the European Maritime Safety Agency and currently located in Vigo (Spain). The Framo Transrec 150 skimmer is an off-shore device that separates oil from water. Contacts are ongoing in order to arrange details for the delivery. The US coast guard has also accepted last night 1200 metres of off-shore booms offered by Norway.
"Europe is ready to continue the excellent cooperation on emergency response that we have with our US friends. The positive reaction from the EMSA and the participating States in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism is a clear sign that Europe stands ready to cooperate in dealing with this ecological disaster", said Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.
The Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre, which is the focal point of the European Civil Protection Mechanism, received a request from the US for booms to contain surface oil in the evening of June 10th. Sweden, Germany, Norway, the UK, Denmark, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, Romania, France, and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) have all offered booms.
In a previous request, on 27th May, the US asked for a specific type of sweeping arms to be attached to ships that are gathering the oil. The Netherlands provided three pairs of sweeping arms which are already deployed in the US. EMSA and Spain have offered additional sweeping arms.
The whole list of Participating States that have offered support to US, following their requests includes Sweden, Germany, Norway, the UK, Denmark, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, Romania, Portugal, Belgium, Greece, France.
See also MEMO
More information on the European Civil Protection Mechanism: http://ec.europa.eu/echo/civil_protection/civil/index.htm