Proceedings Of The Marine

SPR 2015

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

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Page 43 of 102

41 Spring 2015 Proceedings emissions monitoring or hydrocarbon-based chemi- cal spills into fresh or salt waters. Dispersant Operations SMART guidelines recommend three monitoring tiers: 1 Tier I — Visual Observation: Trained observers provide qualitative assessments regarding dis- persant effectiveness. Observers may enhance visual observation with electronic sensory instruments. 2 Tier II — On-Water Effcacy Monitoring: Teams equipped with real-time water monitoring devices and sampling equipment collect on-site quantitative dispersed oil data. 3 Tier III — Additional Monitoring: Tier III monitoring employs a variety of techniques (including monitoring at multiple depths and increased water sampling) to determine dis- persed oil plume movement. In-Situ Burning Operations SMART in-situ burning monitoring provides data regarding potential health concerns associated with burning oil. Monitoring teams use real-time par- ticulate air monitoring equipment in areas where SMART Limits Though the SMART guidelines provide the on-scene coordinator with an excellent planning and decision-making framework, they are not all-encompassing. Operational planners should consider the following assumptions and limitations before and during signifcant oil spills: 1 SMART guidelines do not directly address responder and moni- toring personnel health and safety. The OSC and unifed command must develop a health and safety plan, as required by OSHA regu- lations, which accounts for incident-specifc risks, including those arising from dispersant and in-situ burn operations. 2 The guidelines do not provide complete training on specific monitoring technology. Government agencies and private sector organizations must develop tailored training programs based on their respective authorities, responsibilities, equipment, and techniques to ensure they maintain a robust cadre of trained response personnel. 3 While SMART guidelines can help determine dispersant appli- cation efficacy, the decision to use them will always rely on informed environmental trade-ofs and continuous stakeholder engagement. 4 SMART guidelines are not regulatory requirements. They can be expanded or adapted, based on incident magnitude, severity, and constraints. While responders should make every efort to implement the protocols, in-situ burning or dispersant applica- tions should not be delayed to allow SMART monitoring team deployment. SMART Special Teams T h e N a t i o n a l R e s p o n s e Sy s t e m prescribes several special teams the OSC can call upon to assist with SMART guide- lines implementation during dispersant and in-situ burning operations. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Scientifc Support Coordinator The response on-scene coordinator may designate the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientific support coordinator (SSC) as the prin- cipal advisor for all scientifc issues. NOAA SSCs directly support the OSC and unifed command to implement SMART monitoring protocols. They review moni- toring data to determine dispersant and in-situ burn operation efficacy, which informs operational decisions regarding their employment and continued use. In addition to their individual expertise in oil and hazardous substance response, SSCs provide a single point of contact for NOAA's vast network of scientifc and environmental experts. National Strike Force The National Strike Force is the Coast Guard's operational asset to employ SMART protocols. Strike team person- nel are oil and hazardous substance response experts with the specialized training and a robust suite of response equipment necessar y to implement all tiers of dispersant and in-situ burn monitoring. OSCs should consider NSF resources and capabilities when developing dispersant and in-situ burn plans and should imme- diately request strike team assistance if they anticipate the potential for these operations. Public Information Assist Team As demonstrated during the Deepwater Horizon incident, an efective strategic messaging and engagement strategy is absolutely vital to a successful response. The Coast Guard Public Information Assist Team (PIAT) is comprised of highly skilled public afairs specialists who can assist the OSC to develop a comprehen- sive public afairs strategy. PIAT members perform a wide array of services during an oil spill response, including s e r v ing as the unif ie d command's public information officer (PIO), maintaining a joint information center, producing public information products, and coordinating with other agency PIOs and media outlets.

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