1 JANUARY 1998 - 30 JUNE 1998
I. MAJOR ACTIVITIES.
A. MAJOR/NOTEWORTHY RESPONSE ACTIVITIES:
1) M/V KUROSHIMA:
TYPE AND AMOUNT OF PRODUCT SPILLED: 39,000 gallons of bunker fuel is estimated to have spilled from the M/V Kuroshima.
CAUSE OF SPILL: The M/V Kuroshima, attempting to move to safer anchorage, ran aground near Second Priest Rock in Summer Bay in extremely heavy weather.
TIME AND DATE OF SPILL: 3:05 PM, November 26, 1997
POTENTIAL RESPONSIBLE PARTY (PRP): Kuroshima, Inc., Tokyo, Japan
Operational Activities- All work identified in shoreline cleanup work orders for the Kuroshima fuel spill has been completed and the beach segments have been signed off for demobilization of the work crews and equipment by representatives of the unified command. The official sign off by the Unified Command is final as of July 10, 1998. Some language was worked in that would allow for the call out of workers in the event it becomes necessary.
2) Other minor cases are described in the ARRT minutes from the March 17th and the June 23rd, 1998 ARRT meetings. (ARRT minutes are posted on the ARRT’s Web Site: www.akrrt.org, NOAA 1st Class Email or contact LCDR Larry Musarra at: (907) 463-2211 or email@example.com for copies of ARRT minutes.)
1) Joint Russian/Japanese/U.S. Oil Spill Exercise: The first joint US/Russian/Japanese Oil Spill Exercise was a one day field deployment exercise involving the Russian State Marine Pollution Control & Salvage Administration (SmorSA), the Russian Border Service, EMERCON of Sakhalin Region, the Russian Airborne Search and Rescue Services, the Japanese Maritime Safety Agency, and the U. S. Coast Guard. Exercise participants were presented a scenario that involved a fire onboard a marine oil drilling rig that resulted in an oil spill injuries to personnel on board the rig, and people in the water. In response to the simulated disaster, Russia deployed: three oil spill response vessels, numerous tugs and support craft, two Russian Federation Border Guard vessels for SAR, an MI-8 helicopter with a para-rescue team and an AN-24 aircraft for surveillance from the Federal Airborne Search & Rescue Services. Japan deployed the Japanese Maritime Safety Agency (JMSA) vessel SOYA with a helicopter for the SAR phase of the exercise only. The U.S. deployed the CGC POLAR SEA with an Aviation Detachment (AVDET), the Western Alaska Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC), representatives from the 17th and 13th District Response Advisory Teams (DRAT) and the Pacific Strike Team, the Vessel of Opportunity Skimming System (VOSS), and an INMARSAT-B telephone to transmit photos. The U.S. also deployed a C-130 aircraft with an Alyeska Pipeline Airborne Dispersant Delivery System (ADDS) onboard. After the injured personnel were evacuated to medical facilities in Korsakov City, airborne surveillance of the drifting oil spill was conducted. The SmorSA and the USCG coordinated response efforts to minimize the effect of the oil spill. Activities began on Sunday, May 17th with the arrival of the JMSA vessel SOYA. This was the first visit by a Japanese federal vessel since the Japanese were expelled after WWII. This visit had a high priority with the President of the Russian Federation and the Prime Minister of Japan. Since the environmental mission was seen as an issue that transcends existing disputes, Japanese participation was facilitated. Monday, May 18th was a day-long seminar with presenters from morSA, Sakhalin Regional Government, the oil industry, the Commanding Officer of MSO Anchorage, and a U.S. Department of the Interior Alaska Regional Response Team representative. Tuesday, May 19th, consisted of in-depth crew briefings for all participants and communications checks. The multi-national control group finalized their plans and there were breakout sessions for safety-sensitive activities such as air operations and fire fighting. Thursday, May 21st, an extensive "hot wash" was conducted with the senior operational commanders. The U. S. provided an overall evaluation of "excellent" and praised the quality of planning and problem-solving abilities of the commanders. CGC POLAR SEA departed on May 22nd with most U. S. participants and Russian Border Guard representatives. Air Station Kodiak deployed a C-130 daily from May 19-21 from Misawa Air Base for logistics and to participate in the exercise.
2) Dispersant Application in Alaska Workshop, March 18 – 19, 1998 in Anchorage AK. This conference was held to review recent advances in dispersant knowledge and their implications to dispersant use in the Prince William Sound area. International experts made presentations and answered questions concerning recent developments in dispersants. Panels of industry and public stakeholders and technical experts discussed the relevance of these developments to dispersant planning in Prince William Sound. Discussions focused on dispersant effectiveness, fate and effects of dispersed oil, and monitoring of dispersant operations and effects.
C. ARRT MEETINGS: Two ARRT meetings were held during this period: March 17, 1998 at Ft. Richardson in Anchorage, AK and June 23, 1998 at Ft. Wainwright in Fairbanks, AK.
D. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE: EMCON, under a State of Alaska contract, accomplished the revision of the In-Situ Burning Guidelines for the S&T Committee. The process focused on three areas: (1) incorporating new EPA regulations which added a new national ambient air quality standard; (2) ensuring that the guidelines addressed the new improvement to the ALOFT Model; and (3) making the guidelines more "user friendly". Major changes that were included in the revised guidelines, and await S&T Work Group approval, are: safe distances, authorization conditions, review checklist, particulate mater guidelines, air toxins guidelines, land versus water considerations, uncertainty factors, and research results. The ALOFT Model was still in the review process at EPA Region X and was on the agenda for the modeling conference. The review will be complete on or around July 1, 1998, and the committee is hopeful the model will be approved as an alternate EPA guideline model.
E. WILDLIFE PROTECTION WORKING GROUP (WPWG): The Wildlife Protection Working Group (WPWG) reviewed the "Wildlife Protection Strategy and Permits" section of the June 1, 1998, Draft "Alaska Clean Seas (ACS) Technical Manual, Volume 1, Tactical Descriptions". The WPWG will submit comments on ACS in July on these sections. The Pribiliof Islands Wildlife Protection Subgroup (Subgroup) met on May 13, 1998 to discuss comments and remaining input into the draft "Wildlife Protection Guidelines: Pribilof Islands" and draft "Wildlife Protection Recommendations: Pribilof Islands". The final draft guidelines and recommendations were subsequently submitted to the Subgroup, the Pribilof Islands Working Group, and the Wildlife Protection Working Group members for review.
F. CULTURAL RESOURCES WORKING GROUP (CRWG): The CRWG met on February 26 to discuss implementation of the NRT's "Programmatic Agreement on Protection of Historic Properties During Emergency Response under the National Contingency Plan" (Programmatic) for the November 1997 M/V Kuroshima oil spill, additional National Historic Property Act compliance requirements for remaining response activities, and the next steps in developing a Programmatic Agreement implementation document for Alaska. The CRWG reaffirmed that providing assistance to Federal On-Scene Coordinators (FOSC) in pre-identifying individuals who can serve as FOSCs' historic properties specialists is a high priority. CRWG subgroup members continue to stand ready to provide assistance to FOSC's in pre-identifying historic properties specialists. In addition, CRWG Subgroup members are working on identifying an historic properties specialist for the September 22-23, 1998, BP Exploration exercise.
II. GENERAL PREPAREDNESS AND CONTINGENCY PLANNING.
A. STATE LIAISON: See paragraph C, "FEDERAL/STATE UNIFIED PLAN AND SUBAREA PLANS" below.
B. TRAINING: Training during this period included participation in industry-sponsored exercises and NIIMS Level 300 ISC training held in Anchorage and Juneau.
C. FEDERAL/STATE UNIFIED PLAN AND SUBAREA PLANS:
1) Unified Plan: Change Two to the Unified Plan is in development and expected to be offered for public review sometime in late October or November, 1998.
2) Subarea Contingency Plans:
a. Southeast SCP: Neither the Subarea Committee nor any of its work groups have met since before the plan was published last year.
b. Prince William Sound SCP: The State of Alaska has held several meetings with industry and the PWS RCAC to discuss changes to the PWS Tanker Contingency Plans and to determine which information could be moved from the industry plan and placed into the Unified Plan or the PWS Subarea Contingency Plan. Two contractors, Parametrics and PCMI, are working together on the development of a Copper River Delta Plan that will become part of the PWS SCP. This, as well as any other changes to the SCP, will be reviewed by the Subarea Committee and then distributed for public review at a later date as Change 1 to the SCP.
c. Cook Inlet SCP: The Subarea Committee’s Operations and Logistics Groups held several meetings with the prime focus on identifying emergency mooring locations in Cook Inlet. Plans are to hold several public meetings, e.g. in Homer and Seldovia, to explain the thought process and parameters used to identify the preferred emergency mooring locations.
d. Kodiak SCP: The Kodiak Subarea Committee formally placed the plan in public review at a public meeting held in Kodiak on April 14. Additional public meetings were held in Kodiak and Anchorage in May to receive comments. After representatives from the USCG, the State, and the Kodiak Island Borough review all comments and make any subsequent changes, the plan is expected to go to final publication in August 1998.
e. North Slope SCP: The North Slope Subarea plan is currently on hold, pending the outcome of the North Slope Project Team. The North Slope Project Team, comprised of members of the Coast Guard, State of Alaska, industry, and local representatives, is nearing completion of its work which has included the development of scenarios and the review spill response strategies for the North Slope.
f. Interior SCP: The Interior Subarea plan is under development by the EPA START contractor and an initial draft of the plan has been completed.
g. Aleutian SCP: With the assistance of a State-financed contractor, a second draft of the plan that incorporated comments received during the review of the initial draft, was completed and distributed for review. Additional comments have been received, and the public review draft of the plan should be published in the fall of 1998.
3) The Federal/State Joint Planning Process:
a. Joint Kodiak Training: During the week of 2 March, a field training session was held in Kodiak, AK. Training consisted of 1st Responder Training, HAZWOPER training, and field training for the deployment of Vessel of Opportunity Skimming System (VOSS) utilizing both the fast sweep reel boom and foam-filled ocean boom. Coast Guard Seventeenth District DRAT, CG Pacific Strike Team, one USCG WLB (CGC FIREBUSH), Air Station Kodiak, MSO Anchorage/MSD Kodiak, MSO Valdez, MSO Juneau, CG MLCPAC IH Detachment Juneau, ADEC, CHADUX Inc., U. S. Navy Supervisor of Salvage (NAVSUPSALV), harbormasters, and cleanup contractors participated in the training.
b. Joint Homer Training: During the week of 6 April 1998, a field training session was held in Homer, AK. Training consisted of 1st Responder Training, HAZWOPER training, and field training for the deployment of Vessel of Opportunity Skimming System (VOSS), booming equipment, U. S. Navy response equipment, and industry supplied skimming systems. Coast Guard Seventeenth District DRAT, CG Pacific Strike Team, one USCG WLB (CGC SEDGE), MSO Anchorage/MSD Kenai, MSO Valdez, MSO Juneau, CG MLCPAC IH Detachment Juneau, ADEC, CHADUX Inc., CISPRI, U. S. Navy Supervisor of Salvage (NAVSUPSALV), harbormasters, and cleanup contractors participated in the training.
III. PERSONNEL CHANGES.
A. On July 10, 1998, Captain William Hutmacher replaced Captain Ed Thompson as the Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the Western Alaska Region.
IV. ISSUES REQUIRING RRT ACTION:
A. FUTURE PLANS: The ARRT has a web site. The address is www.akrrt.org. The site has ARRT meeting agendas, minutes and the semi-annual reports. The site also has links to the ARRT members, the Unified Plan and other sites relevant to spill response and HAZMAT releases.
B. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE: The S&T Committee will review the In Situ Burn Guidelines, and comments are due by August 21, 1998. The S&T Committee will be meeting with the contractor EMCON during the last two weeks of August to review the feedback and to incorporate revisions into the guidelines for final development and integration with the Unified Plan, change 2. A public review and comment phase will be held before incorporation into the Unified Plan.
C. WILDLIFE PROTECTION WORKING GROUP: Comments to the draft Wildlife Protection Guidelines: Pribilof Islands and draft Wildlife Protection Recommendations: Pribilof Islands are due July 10, 1998. Following receipt of any comments, the guidelines will be finalized and submitted to the U.S. Coast Guard and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation for inclusion in the Aleutian Islands Subarea Contingency Plan.
D. CULTURAL RESOURCES WORKING GROUP: A subset of the CRWG plans to begin work this summer on a document focused on implementing the National Response Team’s "Programmatic Agreement on Protection of the Historic Properties During Emergency Response under the National Contingency Plan (Programmatic Agreement)" in Alaska.
The next ARRT Meeting will be held on October 30, 1998 in Anchorage, AK.
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