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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54 Proceedings Spring 2015 of Marine Environmental Response Policy serves as vice chair. 1 As such, we coordinate member resources to opti- mize the federal government's response assets. At the regional level, the EPA's regional removal manager and USCG's district offce's representative co-chair regional response teams (RRTs). The 15 federal agencies coordinate with the co-chairs, as incidents at the RRT level may include cross-jurisdictional response coordination and involve mul- tiple federal agencies. 2 Of course all incidents begin at the "local" level, so the EPA and the USCG frequently train with local, state, and other responders. Typically, the EPA and USCG respond to a spectrum of cases ranging from oil spills to chemical releases, but as nefari- ous individuals consider using chemical, biological, radio- logical, and nuclear (CBRN) components against the U.S., we responders must evolve our capabilities to meet these emerging threats. Actual responses aid this effort, as we learned in a response that highlights several components of a CBRN incident. Sulfur Mustard Incident The Exposure In June 2010, a clam dragger operating off the coast of New York pulled up several World War I-era sulfur mustard munitions. When a crew member attempted to throw the munitions overboard, one struck the vessel's gunwale and broke open on the deck. The impact released contents, and exposed crew members to sulfur mustard agent, also known as "mustard gas." Within a few hours, a crew member began to display symp- toms of exposure, so the captain returned to New Bedford Harbor, so the symptomatic crew member could receive In 1968, the frst National Contingency Plan provided U.S. offcials with a coordinated approach to cope with spills in U.S. waters, including requirements for accident reporting and spill containment and cleanup. Today, during an oil and hazardous material release response, either a U.S. Coast Guard captain of the port or an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offcial serves as the on-scene coordinator (OSC), depending on the spill's location. Each agency also has special teams to support the OSC. The EPA's teams are: • the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Consequence Management and Advisory Division; • the Environmental Response Team; • the National Criminal Enforcement Response Team; • the Radiological Emergency Response Team. The National Strike Force (NSF), consisting of the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacifc Strike Teams, is the Coast Guard's "go to" resource for oil and hazardous substance response. To facilitate this partnership, EPA on-scene coordinators have pre-established interagency agreements with the National Strike Force that enable coordination, training, and response. This coordination has served both agencies well and has facilitated response to incidents from the Columbia Shuttle recovery to Hurricane Sandy response. The National Response Team The EPA and USCG routinely coordinate at the national and regional levels. For example, as the EPA Offce of Emergency Management deputy director, I chair the U.S. National Response Team (NRT) and the USCG chief of the Offce From Oil Spills to Chemical Releases The Environmental Protection Agency's role in national response. by MS. dAnA tuliS Deputy Director Offce of Emergency Management U.S. Environmental Protection Agency HAZMAT Response

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