U.S. Accepts Relief Aid for Gulf Spill From 12 Countries

The United States will accept offers of assistance in cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico from 12 countries and international bodies, according to a press release issued Tuesday by the U.S. State Department.

This will include two high-speed skimmers and fire containment boom from Japan.

"We are currently working out the particular modalities of delivering the offered assistance. Further details will be forthcoming once these arrangements are complete," the press release said.
Twenty-seven nations have offered clean-up assistance to the U.S., including Canada, China, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

The international bodies offering their assistance are the European Maritime Safety Agency, the European Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre, the International Maritime Organization, and the Environment Unit of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the United Nations Environment Program.

Many of the offers are still under consideration, according to a document posted to the State Dept.’s website.

An offer of chemical dispersant from France was declined because the chemicals in it are not approved for use in the U.S.

An estimated 1.6 million to 3.6 million barrels of oil (67 million to 153 million gallons) have already poured into the Gulf from some 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) below the surface since the April 20 explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon rig.