Coast Guard, emergency responders, partners participate in oil spill prep exercise in Lafayette

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NEW ORLEANS — Coast Guard personnel, in conjunction with state and federal partners, participated in an annual tabletop exercise with Stone Energy Corporation and its contractors on Sept. 10.

The exercise was based around a simulated worst-case oil discharge scenario at the MC 29 Cardona Prospect.

The event was held to evaluate the ability of response organizations to form a Unified Command and provide a coordinated response and initial assessment of the potential impacts of a sizable oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

As an operator in the Gulf of Mexico, Stone Energy Corporation must annually conduct an exercise to rehearse its response to an oil spill to include source control, containment, recovery, protection of environmentally sensitive areas and public awareness.

Following the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the federal government developed a National Preparedness for Response Exercise Program to provide a mechanism for compliance with oil spill response exercise requirements.

“Coordinating efforts with our federal, state, local and industry partners is essential to the efficient response to oil spills and crucial to meeting our collective responsibilities under the Area Contingency Plan,” said Lt. Cmdr. Lushan Hannah, Coast Guard Sector New Orleans chief of incident managemnt.

The Coast Guard together with federal, state, and industry partners, assemble together to conduct Emergency Preparedness and Pollution Response exercises every year as part of an established multi-year strategy to build capabilities and improve readiness levels. Planning, training, and exercising are all important components of the nation’s homeland security strategy and response capabilities.

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