Coast Guard Holds Exercise in Port of Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. – The U.S. Coast Guard, along with the Florida Department of Environment Protection, completed a government-initiated, unannounced exercise of the oil spill response plan and pollution response capabilities of the Murphy Oil facility here Tuesday.

In accordance with the Clean Water Act and the National Preparedness and Response Exercise Program guidelines, the Coast Guard is mandated to conduct random, periodic spot checks of port facilities. Representatives from Murphy Oil and Southern Waste Services deployed resources needed to effectively respond to a simulated 2,100-gallon discharge of oil. Exercises such as this one are conducted quarterly in an effort to ensure preparedness as well as to improve response to environmental incidents throughout the region.

“The Coast Guard has multiple ways of ensuring that facilities in Tampa Bay are operating in a safe manner and complying with environmental regulations, and one way to monitor this is through these unannounced exercises,” said Lt. Jason Franz, a member of Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg’s Planning Department. “It gives the Coast Guard an opportunity to observe industry partners exercising their response plans. The Coast Guard then evaluates the outcome of the exercise and provides feedback that will improve upon the facility’s readiness.”

The Coast Guard and Florida Department of Environmental Protection evaluation proved that Murphy Oil could successfully respond to a simulated oil discharge and that the facility is operating according to applicable federal and state regulations. The Coast Guard will continue to randomly exercise oil spill response plans from various Tampa Bay port facilities throughout the year.

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