Bristol Bay Oil Spill Exercise Emphasizes Importance of Swift Incident Response
Chadux supports the U.S. Coast Guard in validating Geographic Response Strategies for remote Alaska regions
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A joint oil spill response exercise conducted by the Alaska Chadux Corporation (Chadux) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) in Bristol Bay has highlighted the importance and challenges of swift incident response in environmentally sensitive and remote regions of Alaska. Chadux supported USCG in planning for and conducting the annual exercise for oil discharge response under the USCG Sector Anchorage's Federal On-Scene Coordinator authority and jurisdiction. This exercise met USCG requirements under the Ocean Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90), the National Oil and Hazardous Substance Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP), and the National Preparedness for Response Exercise Program (PREP) Guidelines, in addition to the USCG Arctic Strategy.
The joint team of Chadux responders and U.S. Coast Guard personnel were deployed aboard the oil spill response vessel Ocean Liberty for five days from August 17 - 22, 2020 while operating in Northern Bristol Bay, Alaska.
The Ocean Liberty is under contract to Chadux from Paradigm Marine and is the only fully dedicated oil spill response vessel based in Western Alaska, homeported at the port of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. To learn more about the OSRV Ocean Liberty, please visit Paradigm Marine's website at www.paradigmmarine.com.
"Working in remote regions of Western Alaska is always a challenge," said Dan Powell, Chadux Response Supervisor for the exercise. "This exercise reinforced the importance to work with the Coast Guard and Paradigm in order to be ready for a real response."
During the exercise, the Chadux and Coast Guard teams were able to deploy protection boom in a remote region of Bristol Bay in salmon spawning streams, utilize specialized capabilities of an oil spill response vessel, and conduct numerous aerial observations of other sensitive areas to assess oil spill response strategies using drone technology owned and operated by Chadux. Additionally, the exercise assessed the logistical challenges of conducting an oil spill response in remote regions of Alaska.
"The Coast Guard continues to exercise and train to be ready to respond in Western Alaska," said LT Andrew Sinclair, USCG, the D17 District Response Advisory Team supervisor. "By working closely with response partners such as Chadux, we are confident we will continue to remain ready to response when needed."
"Our 26 years of experience confirms that developing and strengthening partnerships is a key to successful responses throughout Western Alaska," said Buddy Custard, Chadux General Manager. "The opportunity for our team to exercise and train with the Coast Guard and Ocean Liberty in this remote area is much appreciated."
Founded in 1993, the Alaska Chadux Corporation is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation comprised of 60 member companies dedicated to oil spill incident planning and response. For more information, visit www.chadux.com