The following is the text of a press release issued by the Deepwater Horizon Unified Command:
(ROBERT, La.) — The Unified Area Command, which is mounting the largest oil spill response ever, will relocate its response staff from its seven-week base in Robert, La., to a 38,000-square-foot fit-for-purpose space in New Orleans that will better facilitate continued 24-hour activities and decision making.
The location in New Orleans was selected to move response command staff closer to operational locations along the coast. The move is expected to be completed this week. Starting Thursday morning, reporters seeking information should contact the Joint Information Center at two new phone numbers: (713) 323-1670 and (713) 323-1671.
The Unified Area Command will relocate approximately 350 staff into 38,224 square feet of office space near the Superdome. The move is expected to be completed this week.
“We want to thank Shell for allowing us to use their training facility here in Robert for the past seven weeks,” said BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles. “Their support has been invaluable to our overall response efforts and we greatly appreciate everything they have done to facilitate this important work.”
Rear Admiral James Watson, the Federal On Scene Coordinator and lead federal official for the response, said “We continue to be focused on controlling the source, aggressively attacking the spill offshore, and responding quickly to clean up any oil that comes ashore. This move should facilitate those efforts over the coming months.
“We want to thank the people in the communities along the North Shore, including Robert, Covington, and Hammond, who have graciously accommodated our many activities in the area,” Watson said. “We truly appreciate their support and understanding as we have mounted the largest spill response ever.”