Special exercise will test spill readiness for Ecology, Coast Guard, partner agencies

13th Coast Guard District News
OAK HARBOR, Wash. – A National Preparedness for Response Exercise Program (PREP) practice oil spill response will be conducted June 21-23, 2011,  to test the readiness and skills needed to effectively manage a major environmental incident.

The Washington Department of Ecology, U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Navy and other Federal, State, and local entities will partner to enact a rapid and well coordinated response to protect the state’s highly valued environmental, cultural, and economic resources from simulated oil-spill damage. This training provides a valuable opportunity for these agencies to work together. They will also be evaluated on their ability to mount planned, first-stage response strategies using the Northwest Area Contingency Plan and Incident Command System processes.

With the “spill” occurring in the waters west of Whidbey Island, the Command Center for over 200 drill participants will be located on the Seaplane Base at Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island (Oak Harbor, Wash.).  No oil will be spilled, but containment booming, oil-skimming vessels, other boats and aircraft will operate in the area during the exercise.

As part of the exercise, the Joint Information Center will post updates and releases under “Hot Topics” in the right hand of the Department of Ecology’s Spills Program page: Ecology’s Spills Program website.


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