WILMINGTON, N.C. — Coast Guard Sector North Carolina personnel and members of partner agencies participated in an oil spill response exercise at the Morehead City Convention Center in Morehead City, Thursday, Sept. 15.
The exercise focused on a remediation of underwater legacy environmental threats (RULET) vessel, which could potentially threaten the shores of the Outer Banks and Pamlico Sound if a discharge took place.
The exercise was designed to test participant’s area contingency and geographic response plans involving the W.E. Hutton.
The W.E. Hutton, a 453-foot vessel carrying 2.7 million gallons of #2 heating oil, was sunk by a German U-boat in 1942. Due to the nature of the vessel sinking and questionable status of material remaining aboard, this vessel has been classified as posing a potential threat to the coast of North Carolina.
Among the agencies represented were the U.S. Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency, NOAA’s Emergency Response Division, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, members of Marine Corps Environmental Management from Camp Lejeune and Cherry Point, North Carolina Emergency Management and State On-Scene Coordinator, Carteret County, as well as members from emergency environmental response organizations including HEPACO and SR&R Environmental.
“Coast Guard Sector North Carolina has a vested interest in ensuring we are ready to respond to any threat to our waters, and the best response is a unified effort with our partners,” said Capt. Patricia Hill, commander, Sector North Carolina and Captain of the Port. “Through joint planning and cooperation, the Coast Guard has worked to develop methods to manage the complications associated with response to an oil spill on the beaches of the Outer Banks. The exercise has better prepared all agencies to respond to and minimize the impact of such an incident.”
For further information concerning RULET vessels and the project, visit: http://ift.tt/12P3hmO
To view the area contingency plan, please visit: http://ift.tt/2d4XROj