Federal, tribal, state and local agencies exercise oil spill response in the Straits of Mackinac

A tug and barge passses under the Mackinac Bridge, the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world, spans the Straits of Mackinac in northern Michigan, Sept. 23, 2015. The Straits area is a vital economic route and an important environmental area in the Great Lakes system. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher M. Yaw/Released)

A tug and barge passses under the Mackinac Bridge, the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world, spans the Straits of Mackinac in northern Michigan, Sept. 23, 2015. . (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher M. Yaw)

SAULT SAINTE MARIE, Mich. – The Coast Guard along with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and other federal, tribal, state and local response agencies are participating in a functional oil spill response exercise coordinated by Enbridge in St. Ignace and Mackinaw City, Michigan, Thursday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

More than 400 participants are involved in this exercise of a simulated worst-case discharge of light crude oil from Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline that runs on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac from St. Ignace to Mackinaw City, Michigan.

The exercise will include many operations involved in an emergency response to an oil spill including creation of a Unified Command; establishing the incident planning, finance, logistics and public information components; multi-agency coordination; and oil recovery strategies.

Other participants include representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, Michigan State Police, and Mackinac County Emergency Management.

Planning for this exercise has been ongoing for 12 months and is part of regularly scheduled planning efforts between the federal government and industry as dictated by the National Preparedness for Response Exercise Program guidelines.

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