The top environmental oversight agency in the U.S. activated its hurricane response team Saturday and is monitoring all offshore oil and gas operations as the Gulf States prepare for Hurricane Ida.

The team will work with offshore operators in coordination with state and federal agencies until “operations return to normal and the storm is no longer a threat,” announced the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

Workers have reportedly been evacuated from half of all offshore oil and gas production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, with 279 of the 560 platforms now sitting unmanned.

BSEE noted that production platforms are separate from oil rigs in that they do not move from location to location, but remain stationary throughout a project’s duration.  Oil rigs throughout the Gulf have also been evacuated.

Precautions have further been taken to “shut in” oil and gas from the wells located at the ocean floor in an effort to protect marine and coastal environments.