Media Advisory: Coast Guard Sector Portland, Ore., to participate in Northwest Oil Spill Awareness Class

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Coast Guard is scheduled to participate in the Northwest Oil Spill Awareness Course hosted by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Tuesday.

The Coast Guard will be presenting information on the Northwest Oil Spill Response Community and Area Contingency Plan.

The Coast Guard is one of the lead agencies in the plan which is designed to protect local natural resources, wildlife and people from the environmental hazards of accidental oil and chemical releases. The purpose of the class is to provide key leaders and journalists with an advanced understanding of oil spill response.

In 2009, Sector Portland responded to more than 150 pollution cases. Most notable was the recent response to the fishing vessel Helen McColl, which sank at its berth in Newport, Ore. Sector Portland’s Incident Management Team and DEQ worked jointly on the operation and contracted Fred Devine Diving and Salvage Company to vacuum out the remaining fuel and oil onboard the vessel.

In another incident last summer, the Coast Guard assisted the Environmental Protection Agency on an incident involving the barge New Dawn, a double hull barge that ran aground on the Columbia River at Hood River. Coast Guard inspectors and pollution investigators were quickly on scene to conduct an assessment of the barge and determined there was no product spilled.

Sector Portland’s responsibility for pollution response spans from south of Queets, Wash., to the Northern California border along the coast and following the Columbia River east to the Bonneville Dam and down the Willamette River to Oregon City Falls.

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