Unified Command provides objectives for Drift River Terminal event

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Unified Command directing the response to the Drift River Terminal event has developed seven objectives for the response and is actively working to accomplish them.

A comprehensive team is in place in Anchorage and on a daily basis at the terminal weather and ash permitting. Over flights of the facility Monday confirm there has been no additional lahar activity in the vicinity of the terminal. Crews have been conducting surveys and clean-up activities at the terminal. The Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers accessed the facility by helicopter Monday.

“The facility, tanks, pumps and auxiliary equipment are in good shape,” said Cmdr. Joseph Lo Sciuto, federal on-scene coordinator. “We physically walked the berm and saw no breaks or damage. We have some acceptable freeboard between the level of the sediment deposits and the top of the berm as well. We also saw about a five foot drop to the ground level off the end of the lahar deposit created March 23.”

The Unified Command’s objectives are:

1. Ensure the safety of citizens and response personnel.

2. Maximize the protection of the environment.

3. Maximize the protection of the Drift River facility.

4. Manage a coordinated response through the Unified Command.

5. Keep stakeholders (internal and external) and the public informed of response activities.

6. Ensure a safe draw down of the the tank capacity.

7. Develop a long term plan for continued Cook Inlet oil production.

“We have a an excellent team in place and we are moving forward with the safety of our responders in mind,” said Rod Ficken, Cook Inlet Pipe Line Company and responsible party.

Additional over flights are planed and it is the intent of the Unified Command to get personnel on site as is safe and clean-up the terminal to facilitate the safe draw down of the tanks. A team is in place and working to modify existing plans for tanker transfers to address the safety issues posed by the volcanic activity.

“We are committed to moving forward safely and smartly,” said Gary Folley, state on scene coordinator. “We have clear goals identified and we’re working to achieve those through means that don’t inadvertently create a larger problem than we have now.”

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