Coast Guard Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Oil Spill Task Force

ALAMEDA, Calif. — In a signing ceremony here Tuesday Vice Admiral Charles D. Wurster, Commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area, and Jean Cameron, Executive Coordinator of the Pacific States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force, concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two agencies recognizing their mutual goals of spill preparedness, prevention and response, and pledging continued partnership and cooperation.

The Memorandum of Understanding recognizes the shared goals of both the U.S. Coast Guard and the Oil Spill Task Force in preparing for and preventing spills, seeking cooperative methods to foster greater environmental awareness and compliance, and to ensure appropriate cleanups are conducted. The MOU recognizes the more than 15-year cooperative partnership between the Coast Guard Pacific Area and the Oil Spill Task Force, which was created in the wake of the barge Nestucca grounding in 1988 off the Washington coast and the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska in 1989.

Previous cooperative efforts have included development of Places of Safe Refuge Protocol, co-sponsorship of the West Coast Offshore Vessel Traffic Risk Management Project, and a variety of other prevention and spill related projects.

The Pacific States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force is comprised of senior environmental agency executives from the five U.S. west coast states of California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii, and the Canadian Province of British Columbia.

The U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area, headquartered here, is a military, multi-mission maritime service within the Department of Homeland Security, responsible for performing the missions of maritime safety, maritime security, protection of national resources, national defense and ensuring maritime mobility within the 73 million-square-mile region of the western hemisphere.

Information on the Task Force can be found at their website at www.oilspilltaskforce.org.

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