The Pacific States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force awarded its 2006 Legacy Awards for Oil Spill Prevention, Preparedness, and Response at its Annual
Meeting in San Diego, California on July 20th. This year’s Legacy Award winners are:
2006 Legacy Award Recipients From left to right: Don McElroy, Senior Vice President, Foss Maritime; Captain Sam Nelson of the Justine Foss; Kim Beasley, General Manager, Clean Islands
Council; Ed Page, Executive Director, the Marine Exchange of Alaska; Mark Smith, Vice President of Supply & Trading for Tesoro Maritime Company; and John
Thielst, Marine Operations Group Superintendent, Tesoro Hawaii
The Clean Islands Council (CIC) was founded in 1972 to provide fast spill response for nearshore and offshore areas of Hawaii. The initiatives and services of CIC have benefited the entire oil spill response community as well as their Hawaiian clients. For instance, CIC conducts approximately 50 training courses each year that are available to the entire response community, including trustee and government agencies. CIC had partnered with the State of Hawaii and the U.S. Coast Guard to maintain the Aerial Dispersant Delivery System (ADDs) pack for Hawaii and developed the first comprehensive ADDS operations manual as well as a more efficient loading system. Clean Islands Council collaborated on the state’s oil spill contingency plan, on developing an outstanding Response Center, on developing Hawaii’s oiled wildlife rescue/rehabilitation capability, on developing a Pre-SCAT survey process, on developing the Aerial Surveillance of Spills and Interactive Spotter Training curriculum, and has worked on removal of invasive species in the Islands. CIC emphasizes continuous improvement, and is such a well-respected organization that clients are eager to join.
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Foss Maritime Company is headquartered in Seattle and provides tugs, barges, and personnel on jobs worldwide. The Company motto is “Always Ready,” and the Oil Spill Task Force members believe that a dramatic rescue off the coast of North Carolina this past January epitomizes that slogan. The crew of the Justine Foss rescued the crew of a sinking tugboat Valour and secured the full tank barge set adrift by that tug, which was carrying 135,000 barrels of heavy oil. The Task Force has noted examples of similar rescue efforts on the West Coast, including an effort to rescue the Selendang Ayu before it grounded in Alaska. Unfortunately the size of that vessel and the weather conditions eventually caused the tow line to part; however, the Sidney’s efforts bought valuable time and allowed the Coast Guard to evacuate twenty of the crew in daylight the next day. In another rescue, the IVER FOSS helped save a crew of 31 aboard the 175’ fishing vessel EPIC CLIPPER which lost power near the Bering Straights in October 2005. In December 2000 the JUSTINE FOSS was in Prince Rupert, B.C. tending the barge she was towing when notified by a Canadian tug company that one of their tugs had lost power towing a barge about 40 miles away. In 15’ seas and 50 to 60 knot winds, the JUSTINE arrived on scene and towed the tug and barge to safety. The Task Force also appreciates that Foss serves on spill advisory committees in multiple states, on Harbor Safety Committees up and down the West Coast, and has participated in multiple Area Contingency Plan committees and workgroups. Foss seems very willing to “go the extra mile” and this has resulted in improved spill prevention for the West Coast – and now, the East Coast as well.
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Tesoro Hawaii Corporation is being recognized for investments in spill prevention and response at their Single Point Mooring located 1.7 miles offshore of Barbers Point, on Oahu, Hawaii, where 65% of all petroleum products enter the state. Capitol improvements costing more than $2 million have included replacement of single carcass hoses with double carcass, increasing internal buoy piping wall thickness by 125%, installation of corrosion inspection hatches, improvements to the structural integrity of the buoy system, a pump and flushing manifold system for displacement of products during emergency repairs or severe weather, installation of additional navigational lighting at the buoy and along the hoses, and installation of a high resolution infrared camera for terminal security. Initial spill response equipment is pre-staged on a tug standing astern during all tanker transfers and Tesoro has made a substantial investment in response equipment upgrades. Tesoro Hawaii also implements a rigorous inspection and maintenance program that exceeds regulatory and industry standards; the program includes pre and post mooring inspections; weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual inspection and maintenance. The value of their spill prevention investments was demonstrated this May when pedal valves installed to provide product isolation in the event of tanker break-out and floating hose separation were activated during a coupling failure, significantly reducing the amount of crude oil released into the environment.
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The Marine Exchange of Alaska is receiving a Legacy Award in recognition of the organization’s development of the Automated Secure Vessel Tracking System (ASVTS) that has served as an exemplary oil spill prevention, preparedness, and response tool for Alaska with applications throughout the Pacific and nationwide. ASVTS is unique in that it utilizes both satellite communications and AIS (Automatic Identification System) to track the locations of vessels around the world at a cost of a “latte a day”! By sharing information on vessels’ positions with the Coast Guard and other agencies, ASVTS helps locate response vessels (tugs, salvage vessels, CG and other vessels) to assist stricken vessels and prevent their sinking or grounding which can lead to environmental impacts. The utility of ASVTS was highlighted by the M/V SELENDANG AYU tragedy in late 2004 and the subsequent response operations, and when the tank vessel SEABULK PRIDE grounded in Cook Inlet Alaska this past winter, the Marine Exchange was tracking the vessel as it broke free and ran aground, then subsequently located and tracked the various response vessels as they proceeded to Cook Inlet to aid the grounded tanker. When the Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service in Valdez recently needed to be shut down and relocated, the Coast Guard used the Marine Exchange’s ASVTS to continue monitoring vessel traffic to ensure environmentally sound maritime operations. The Marine Exchange of Alaska’s innovative and proactive measures to track the locations of vessels and disseminate real time information to response agencies, oil spill response organizations and other entities with a “need to know” is leading to substantial improvements in environmental protection and response that will have regional and national implications. The system can also aid verification of compliance with other environmental protection issues including compliance with Areas To Be Avoided and other routing measures.
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