Through email, Commissioner Welsh commented on the BP Disaster.

"The BP spill is a real catastrophe, in anybody’s book. Subsequent investigations will determine the cause(s) and responsible parties and proper action will be taken by the various regulatory authorities, as well as other entities. There are a tremendous number of responders, over 20,000 people, as I understand. The Office of Conservation is one of the State Agencies that is so engaged. Our Office regularly mans the DNR Emergency Station at the GOHSEP Emergency Control Center in Baton Rouge. Additionally, there is a Coastal Command Center located in Houma, at which we also provide support personnel. Also, we have employed 12 Conservation Field Agents, 6 boats, and 10 vehicles from our Lafayette District office to patrol the coastal waters and area searching for visible oil and regularly advising oil and gas operators and other oil spill authorities.

The BP blowout well is located about 50-miles south of the jurisdictional line between Louisiana and the federal OCS. The federal MMS, US Department of the Interior, is responsible for regulation of the drilling and production activity south of the jurisdictional line. Louisiana State agencies are focusing entirely on the oil spill cleanup effort along the coastline, protection/survival of Louisiana’s coastal areas, and protection/survival of our wildlife and fisheries areas.

Based on this recent BP incident in federal waters, the Office of Conservation is currently in the process of reviewing our existing Louisiana drilling safety rules to determine if any portion thereof needs revision, modification and/or amending. We commonly do such a review following emergency situations, as we have done in similar cases in the past. Such past incident reviews have resulted in the recent upgrading of our blowout preventer rules (e.g., a result of the 2007 gas well blowout near I-10 between Baton Rouge and Lafayette).

The Department of Natural Resources/Office of Conservation has a very informative web site covering the operations and actions taken by our Office during this emergency situation. I urge GHS members to take a look at it. Since 1987, there have been over 33,000 wells drilled in the State. There have been 104 blowouts, of which 8 blowouts have been from rigs located on state water locations. All of these blowouts have been GAS WELLS (no oil well blowouts).

Thanks for asking me to comment.. and keep up the good work on the GHS website!"

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Comment by Wendall Maloy on June 17, 2010 at 12:56
We all should be happy that Bernie Madoff isn't the CEO of BP....or one of the other greedy wall street bankers.
Comment by sesport on June 9, 2010 at 13:35
Bobi - Thanks for explaining how difficult it is for you to understand my thoughts. Appreciate your help, though. And, of course, the Commissioner IS entitled to an opinion about the CPSB, the BPSB or any other school board.

Comment by Bobi Carr ("parker") on June 9, 2010 at 7:27
I just find it difficult to understand why anyone would care what the Commissioner or someone else who has nothing to do with the DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES has to say, since they are the only relevant party to the issue.

But, maybe he'll come on and give his opinion to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries actions. Hey, you never know he might even give his opinion about the Caddo Parish school system.

IMHO, helpful isn't always relevant.
Comment by sesport on June 9, 2010 at 6:19
Thanks, again, Bobi. The news piece clearly shows that the reporter is barred from entering public lands, is referred to the PIO by the law enforcement officer, she goes to the PIO at the BP offices, and is told it will be about 2 days to get the permit. No mention is made of which department is handling the PIO.

I would hope you wouldn't call BPSB regarding a CPSB matter. You're familiar enough to know where to call.

Perhaps the Commissioner would care to come back online here to redirect me to the appropriate office, just as I'm sure someone at BPSB would be courteous enough to explain to someone what would be the appropriate place to call. Government people like being helpful that way.

thanks again 80)
Comment by Bobi Carr ("parker") on June 8, 2010 at 22:45
All departments work in a concerted effort

Maybe. I didn't know that the Wildlife and Fisheries Department was that involved in the Department of Conservation and visa versa.

If there were a problem in Caddo Schools, I wouldn't call the Bossier School Superintendent.

This was an OFF SHORE problem and the comments state that it DID NOT involve the Department of Conservation.

Comment by sesport on June 7, 2010 at 13:22
Thanks for your thoughts, Bobi. It helps to be referred to the right department. Of course, all departments work in concerted effort, communicating back & forth. Not sure of the scope of responsibility of this particular Public Information Office, if it disseminates info for all departments & agencies, or just Elmer's Island. Perhaps the Commissioner could provide more insight.

thanks 80)
Comment by Bobi Carr ("parker") on June 7, 2010 at 9:21
I would think that since Elmer's Island is a Wildlife Refuge it would be under the jurisdiction of the Wildlife and Fisheries.

It also sounds like the Public Information Officer probably took BP up on an air conditioned location intead of sitting out in the heat (just my guess).
Comment by sesport on June 7, 2010 at 6:17
Comissioner - Why is the public information office for Elmer's Island located at the BP office? Why is such a permit required to access public lands?

Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.

Comment by Bobi Carr ("parker") on June 7, 2010 at 0:45
Comment by Bobi Carr ("parker") on June 6, 2010 at 0:07
There is always ways of improving things, but it looks like the State of Louisiana does a good job.

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