Congresswoman Laura Richardson's Statement on the Importance of Improving the Planning and Response of DHS in Regards to the Lessons Learned from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
Today, Congresswoman Laura Richardson released the following statement concerning the importance of planning for future emergencies such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in conjunction with the House Committee on Homeland Security's hearing "DHS Planning and Response: Preliminary Lessons from Deepwater Horizon."
"While we are all relieved that this last week saw the permanent sealing of the Deepwater Horizon well, it goes without saying that it took far too long at 99 days and, because of that, the damage caused by this disaster was much greater than it should have been. And as the recovery of this catastrophic incident continues, I am pleased to join with my colleagues here to examine this tragedy to prevent similar events and to be better prepared in case something like this ever happens again.
"As chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Communications, Preparedness, and Response, I visited the Gulf to observe firsthand the impact of the worst oil spill in our nation's history on the local economy, environment and quality of life of the people of the Gulf region. It was apparent to me that legislation was needed to address some of the complex problems that have arisen as a result of this tragic incident.
"In response to the Gulf Coast oil spill, I will soon introduce two bills, the OSPREY act and the SHORE act. Together, these bills will 1) establish a legislative preference for restoration over other types of mitigation or compensation; 2) define damages in such a way that the monetary restitution will cover the actual costs of restoration efforts; 3) require operators of oil rigs to prepare a baseline study and clean-up plan that assumes the worst case scenario; and 4) require operators of oil rigs to develop a mitigation plan for restoring areas damaged by oil spills to the status quo.
"As the representative of California's 37th district, there are offshore drilling platforms on THUMS island, which is located less than a mile offshore from the district's coast. If, heaven forbid, one of these oil drilling platforms were to experience an incident similar to that of the Deepwater Horizon, it would have devastating consequences on the region's beaches, ports, and livelihoods of millions of Americans. I look forward to working under the leadership of Chairman Thompson and with my colleagues on the Homeland Security Committee to put these positive policies in place."