Unified Command established to address Drift River Terminal situation

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Coast Guard, State of Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation (ADEC), and Cook Inlet Pipe Line Company (CIPL) have established a unified command and are working jointly to address the impact of Mt. Redoubt’s activity on the operations of the Drift River Terminal on western Cook Inlet.

“The unified command takes any potential pollution threat to the environment very seriously,” said Cmdr. Joseph Lo Sciuto, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage deputy commander and federal on-scene coordinator. “We are actively working to assess the full situation resulting from the volcanic activity of Mt. Redoubt.”

The establishment of a unified command is a way for agencies that share overlapping jurisdictions and responsibilities for an event and can manage the response from a single command post. A unified command allows agencies with different legal, geographic, and functional authorities and responsibilities to work together effectively without affecting individual agency authority, responsibility, or accountability. Under a unified command, a single, coordinated action plan will direct all activities. The incident commanders will supervise a single command and general staff organization and speak with one voice.

The unified command’s first priority is to evaluate the balance of risk between the current location of the stored oil and any efforts to transfer that oil from the Drift River Terminal. These risks are being studied by qualified engineers, CIPL personnel and experts at the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

“To balance the risks associated with existing oil the unified command is committed to considering all the pertinent data on the situation and coming to a thoughtful and prudent way forward,” said Gary Folley, Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation and state on scene coordinator.

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