The US government is expected to take over control of the central information website on the Gulf oil spill response that has been run jointly by various agencies and BP for the 2 1/2 months since the rig explosion.
The Department of Homeland Security wants a one-stop shop for information that is completely overseen by the government as it settles into the long-haul of dealing with the response to the disaster. The U.S. Coast Guard falls under Homeland Security's authority.
BP and the federal government are part of a unified command that is working together to try to contain the oil gusher, but the government has been directing BP at every turn.
A DHS spokesman told The Associated Press on Sunday that the joint relationship won't change if the website is given a dot-gov address instead of a dot-com address.
But who can post information to the site would change. Details are still being worked out.
The spokesman, Sean Smith, said the government wants to be as transparent as possible and increase Americans' access to information.
BP is helping pay for the current website. The government could still bill BP when it takes over the site.
The deepwaterhorizonresponse.com site may still be maintained during the changeover, but ultimately it will be taken down altogether when the government moves the response information to its own website.
A BP spokesman did not immediately respond to several requests for comment on the move, which could occur within days.
Crews are drilling two relief wells at the site of the oil spill. The first relief well is expected to be completed by early August.
BP hopes the relief well effort kills the gusher once and for all.
Deepwater Horizon Response: http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/
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