Published: Aug 19, 2010 3:49 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 19, 2010 12:49 PM EDT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The government now says the final plugging of BP's blown-out Gulf well will begin sometime after Labor Day.

Jeffrey Carter, an aide to the goverment's spill chief, tells The Associated Press on Thursday that the plan is to replace a failed piece of equipment called the blowout preventer first.

Then BP will finish drilling a relief well it can use to plug up the blown-out well with mud and cement from the bottom.

Carter says that if everything goes as planned, the final plugging will begin after Sept. 6.

He says the decision on the path forward was made overnight, just hours after Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen told reporters he wasn't giving a timeline.