May 18th, 2010
06:49 PM ET

NOAA says many maps key to oil cleanup are outdated

Many of the maps that the federal government depends on to determine which coastal resources are at risk in the event of a nearby oil spill are outdated, the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday.

"Twenty-one of 50 atlases are more than 10 years old," said Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the NOAA. "Many of them do not reflect current information."

It would take $11 million to update those maps that are more than a decade old, but NOAA has not had the resources, she told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. "The current request in our president's budget includes updating only one of those," she added.

"We have to attend to that," responded Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-West Virginia, who is chairman of the committee.

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Filed under: Gulf Coast Oil Spill
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. michael nyc


    – drill deep (about 1000ft) new adjacent shaft a few feet away from old shaft – place explosive charge at bottom and fill/cover/seal with cement – explode charge to collapse wall and fill with rock, earth etc.


    insert a pipe/hose containing a shut off valve into the existing hole that would have a flange that expands inside and does not have back pressure to oil escaping – then shut off valve ...


    discharge "liquid nitrogen" into leaking pipe thru a small hose from surface inserted as far in as possible


    Remove BOP and install new BOP – whilst exchange in process pump oil to surface with proximity hoses and into tanker/barges Skim oil continually from surface

    thank you

    Michael Gruters – former faculty physics Princeton late 60'

    p.s. the use of dispersing chemicals make surface removal impossible and poisons the sea – really stupid....

    p.p.s. dome is not necessary and wasting time – oil floats to surface and can be pumped into tankers/barges -employ a flotilla of existing tankers/barges starting at epicenter of shaft leak to recover (pump skim off surface oil)

    it is not proposed to use "hair" skimmers, but hoses that submerge and as water/oil mix is pumped into tanker/barge it is replaced by same – there are many tankers/barges currently in service to other gulf rigs. – as the tanker hold fills separated water from the bottom is pumped back.

    p.p.p.s. current plan to bring oil to suface by inserting a smaller pipe does not seal the leak and is only temporary fix – what about methane gas ?

    May 18, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • chase

      you have no clue what you're talking about. placing an explosive charge will not stop the leak. the only way is to either stop the well at the well head or BOP and let the formation maintain its natural pressure, or drill a relief well to create a lower pressure place for the oil and gas to flow (path of least resistance), or control the leak like the insertion tube they are using. you can not just replace the BOP, the leak would then be much bigger with such pressure you would never get anything on top of it; maybe stacking another BOP would work (they have discussed this). what seems to be most likely, considering the limited success of the insertion tube, would be to cut the pipe below the first leak creating just one leak, and then place another insertion tube to gather all of the oil until the relief wells are complete.

      May 19, 2010 at 4:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. just a thought

    place a charge around area underneath topograpical "mini mountaneous region" cause mini landslide around spill that would cover over the pipe in a direction away from the louisiana coast also pushing the goblets of oil away.

    May 19, 2010 at 4:13 am | Report abuse |
    • just a thought

      miniature charge, with minimal environmental damage and impact while modeling the cascading effect of it

      May 19, 2010 at 4:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. Louis

    Hello! Anybody awake and technically up to date in the US Government and National Oceanic Administation NOAA ?

    Heard of Live Satellite Photos from your other "N"-word friends at "NASA" ? Ha ha hah, available free to other govt agencies immediately. Don't need $11 million buckos, just download the today's satellite feeds !

    Another example of our inefficient, bloated and overpriced, spend-happy feds at work (not).

    May 19, 2010 at 4:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      A satellite picture is raw, primary data. A map is a cartographic (mathematical) representation of, in this case, scientific analysis. There is little in life that is "Plain and Simple". Getting in your car to go buy a loaf of bread may seem plain and simple, but it is, in fact, extremely complex. Plain and simple is growing the wheat in your backyard, grinding it by hand, building and heating a wood-fired oven, making and baking the bread.

      May 19, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  4. Louis

    P.S. - Why didn't they BURN it when they had the chance, when the surface leak was still small and doable?
    Then as more emerged, just burn it too! As some people write here, "Plain and Simple!"

    May 19, 2010 at 4:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. Bob

    The NOAA maps are extremely detailed while the Google live satellite pictures are not. The satellite picture may suggest a current, or some coastal changes, but not provide the details necessary. Too bad that the satellite pictures are not sufficient, but if I were driving a car across country I would prefer a new detailed map and not a satellite picture, wouldn't you?

    May 19, 2010 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  6. Bob

    Louis, burning oil only works in certain, specific conditons. WInd direction, wave activity and much more have to be considered. It can be done in small patches, if conditions are right, but not the majority of oil qualifies and much of the oil is below the surface. Too bad, but I do not know if the people living in that area would enjoy an oil cloud constantly fouling their air.

    May 19, 2010 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. Eduardo

    Money determines the headlines of CNN. The spill is getting everyday more dangerous, and it is being deliberately underestimated posting non-important news on their headlines as if people would forget.

    May 19, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. crabman

    and they even admit they look stupid n i c e job nitwits

    May 19, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. crabman

    they can map out a planet then they should get their heads out of their blackholes and do something .what a load of B S

    May 19, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  10. XxMDIxX

    At best case, even if the spill does not come ashore ( in many gulf coast regions), the damage sounds like its already been done to the tourism industry. If oil does start contaminating the Keys... wow. The rest of the gulf coast as well. Look at google maps if you are not familiar w/ the region, and the first thing you notice is how many wildlife preserves are threatened.
    The "spin" placed on the event makes me sick. Headlines like "First oil soaked bird cleaned", yeah like that will be the ONLY one! This event has highlighted for me how controlled the flow of information through the News media really is.
    I understand that the spill being a top headline has damaging effects to tourism in the region. Though it is wrong to downplay such a disaster. This is a bitter pill too swallow, sugar coating is not going too lead too a remedy...

    May 19, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff7 (Formerly Jeff)

      "The "spin" placed on the event makes me sick."

      It makes me sick too. Thanks for writing that. This is an issue that has mobilized me in writing ideas to the joint command center, the White House, my elected officials, the national media, and discussions like this one. I've been shouting for more coverage in the headlines, as well as discussion panels with leading experts about potential solutions and the side effects of dispersants. By and large, I've become sickened by the response of BP, the government, and the media. The tragedy of the loss of life from the explosion and the imminent environmental disaster is bad enough. But, over the last few weeks, the response from all parties in power has caused me to become the most pessimistic about our nation that I have ever felt. The whole thing is a mess. I feel sad about it all.

      May 19, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Craig N. Barthelmas

    Subject: PRO-ACTIVE OIL SPILL CONTINGENCY PLAN, Dated: 10 May, 2010

    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: Here’s a contingency plan that has patented technology and a process that really works.

    1. We found a pre-processed material and developed an action plan that would have extracted up to 95% of the oil spill contaminants from seeded surface waters of the Gulf of Mexico, before it hit land fall.
    2. Our product is a, “Modified Oil Spill Environmental Sponge” dubbed M.O.S.E.S., it is a ¼” to ½” product that can be used to absorb oil contaminants from both “fresh water and salt water” surface oil spills. Our tests have concluded that one ton of product will absorb 125 gallons of oil in less than one hour. Simply put it will absorb approximately one half of its weight in oil. M.O.S.E.S. collects/absorbs oil not water. After saturation M.O.S.E.S. will only contain about 1.4% water. It creates no added impact on marine life or the environment. It also poses no threat to other kinds of wildlife including humans. A fifteen minute test will prove this process works.
    3. Our plan is full circle and includes staging, seeding, re-claiming and re-processing all of the contaminated oil’s and seed materials back into re-usable fuels and commodities.
    4. Due to the urgencies to reduce the impact on the environment and the magnitude of this spill, our plan required partnering with the Coast Guard and other organizations that were already being used to provide staging, seeding and reclaim operations.
    5. Seeding operations were to be handled in essentially the same way they were being done, with minor and/or no modifications to airborne or aquatic equipment that would handle spreading ¼” to ½” particulates.
    6. Re-claim operations required the same booms, scoops, pumps and barge operations, that were being used.
    7. Re-processing operations proposed a permanent emissions free plant for processing oil, sand and other like materials into re-usable fuels and commodities. The plant would take approximately ninety to one hundred and fifty days to construct and would become a permanent part of a states fast action response to future oil spills.
    8. Our plan would have first, assisted with the on-going damage control operations in the gulf; second, it could have been put into operation within seven days; third, it would have become a $30,000,000.00 per year financial benefit to the communities that embraced staging and plant processing operations.
    9. This plan will greatly reduced the time and costs associated with this kind of oil spill in the future. We are confident that this type of pro-active plan would become a template for other high risk (oceanic) areas.
    So, why was this plan given no consideration at all? It is not a question of if another spill will happen, but when! The only excuses we have been able to come up with that, we are sure you are going to here are, as follows:
    a. BP, News Networks and Government Agencies didn’t have the time to consider a pro-active long term plan?
    b. We were crack pots when, this technology is patented and the product could be tested in fifteen minutes?
    c. BP has it under control as, they have done this before? Yes and, crazy is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results! We need to get past these smoke screens and prepare for future spills.
    Thank you for your time and consideration. We’d love to receive some constructive input from anyone who is listening.
    Craig N. Barthelmas, Verizon Cell: [313] 682-1428, E-Mail:
    CC: BP., CNN, FOX NEWS, NOAA, Governors of: AL., FL., LA., MS., And TX.

    May 20, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Craig N. Barthelmas

    ATTENTION!! The PRO-ACTIVE OIL SPILL CONTINGENCY PLAN listed above will not plug oil leaks but, it will address five major problems; two of witch, are concerns that have not been addressed in the media or in the government.
    1. It truly is a LONG TERM-CONTINGENCY PLAN. It will help the community rebuild revenues while providing a fast action operational plan for future oil spills. Yes! Future oil spills will surely occur, despite future prevention efforts!
    2. This plan is full circle and would included staging, seeding, re-claiming and re-processing all of the contaminated oil’s, oil filled sands and seed materials back into re-usable fuels and commodities.
    3. It creates no added impact on marine life or the environment. It also poses no threat to humans and/or other forms of wildlife. Oil, feed stock and sand processing are near emissions free processes.
    4. It will generate $30,000,000.00 worth of new revenues for the communities that embrace staging and plant processing operations. The plant would remain in full operation after the clean-up is done.
    5. It will also add about forty new jobs to the community. This is not only a plan to help with short term clean up’s, it will also have a positive long term and lasting effect on the community as well.
    We all know that BP has been feeding us misinformation and then trying to mobilize volunteers to help minimize their cost. Yes! We sent BP and other agencies this plan. Operations of this nature have a price tag associated with them and so, it would appear that they have no wish to spend anything on spills they can’t control or that won’t go back into their pockets. The OMRS-100 technology is patented and, M.O.S.E.S. (The oil absorbent) can be tested in less than fifteen minutes!
    As always our government is seeking a short term quickie (political talk) so we can get a long term scr**ing! Has anyone mentioned where they (BP) plan to put and/or dispose of all of that contaminated; oil, sand and material? We are pretty sure that without intervention it will be in somebody’s back yard, neatly hidden from sight, killing something else. Don’t you think that any oil spill plan should at least consider: Prevention, Mobilization, Extraction and Disposal Operations?
    Thank you for your time. We would love to receive some constructive input from anyone who is as concerned as we are.
    Craig N. Barthelmas, Verizon Cell: [313] 682-1428, E-Mail:

    May 20, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |