The Pacific States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force Legacy Award winners are models for others in industry, government, and the public to emulate. The Task Force is pleased to honor their commitment to oil spill prevention and preparedness, efficient spill response, and teamwork.
Since the Legacy Award Program began in 1999, the Task Force has given awards in the following categories: tanker operators (7), cargo vessel operator (1), tug and barge operator(1), oil spill response organizations (2), public interest organizations (4), state agency (1), federal agency (2), private citizen (3), public agency employee (1), response industry employees (4), and government/industry teams (2).
The Legacy Award Winners for 2012
* * * * *
The SE Alaska Petroleum Resource Organization (SEAPRO):
For 22 years, the challenges of managing oil spill response in remote Southeast Alaska have been met by the ingenuity, resourcefulness and the dedication of SEAPRO and its community based responders. For example, in 2010 SEAPRO partnered with the U.S. Coast Guard, the State of Alaska, Global Diving & Salvage, Foss and several local contractors to lighter more than 110,000 gallons of bunker oil from the SS Princess Kathleen, a ship that sank near Juneau, Alaska in 1952. SEAPRO’s part in the operation had response personnel and equipment on the water 24 hours a day, seven days a week for nearly three months. SEAPRO recently redesigned its Oil Spill Response Vessels and Oil Recovery Barges to provide significant safety, ergonomic, maintenance and efficiency. SEAPRO has custom-built two wildlife containers to care for impacted wildlife during a response: a washing facility and a medical triage and stabilization unit. These containers have been pre-positioned at Wildlife Centers in Sitka and Ketchikan so they are ready for rapid deployment during a spill and available to local caregivers between spills. For the past 18 years, SEAPRO has conducted HAZWOPER training for 5,784 people in various communities in Southeast Alaska. They also provide online training and are developing a “virtual” classroom where online students can interact with an instructor via the internet. Since the southern area of Southeast Alaska is on the border of Canada, SEAPRO maintains a mutual aid agreement with the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation that provides for the seamless moving of equipment and personnel between the U.S. to Canada.
* * * * *
Eric Olsson, Washington Sea Grant:
Eric has conducted and supervised a successful statewide public outreach program to prevent small oil spills. His interaction with harbormasters, marina operators and boat owners have proved critical in helping effective spill prevention education reach target audiences, change behaviors and eliminate the causes of oil spills. His program has high visibility with many stakeholder groups including industry firms and organizations, state and federal agencies, tribes and environmental non-governmental organizations. Among Eric’s accomplishments:
- He is education and training chair of the Pacific Coast Congress of Harbormasters and certification officer for Washington’s Clean Marina Program;
- He developed and markets the University of Alaska’s interactive on-line training course “Oil Spills – Prevention, Preparedness and Response”;
- He secured a $200,000 contract with Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission to promote pump-out requirements to the state’s recreational boaters under the federal Clean Vessel Act;
- He assisted with the formation of the Pacific Oil Spill Prevention Education Team (POSPET) and has served as Chair for many years (http://www.oilspilltaskforce.org/pospet.htm);
- He provides, with other Washington Sea Grant (WSG) staff, intensive vessel safety workshops for tribal as well as non-tribal commercial fishermen and recreational boaters in Washington State; and
- He collaborated with the Pacific Shellfish Institute to develop effective spill response strategies to protect valuable shellfish resources.
* * * * *
Kathy Fletcher, founder of People for Puget Sound:
Kathy Fletcher has been working both individually and in a professional capacity to help prevent oil spills and to improve emergency response in Puget Sound for three decades. In 1983, she led an advisory commission called the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority. She founded People For Puget Sound in 1991 and this organization has grown to 25 staff members based in Seattle and Olympia with about 10,000 member households (http://pugetsound.org/). For years, Kathy participated in multiple stakeholder groups on the topics of spill prevention, preparedness, and response. For example, People For Puget Sound worked to establish a year-round emergency response tug at Neah Bay. When spills did occur in the Sound, Kathy was always quick to emphasize “lessons learned” and help move constructively with other stakeholders to develop ways to avoid problems in the future. Kathy retired from People For Puget Sound in June 2011, but is expected to remain a strong force for change in Puget Sound, since she recently stated that the effort to restore and save Puget Sound is “never a job you’d do and be finished with. Maintaining the health of the Sound is an ongoing need.”
* * * * *
Captain Daniel LeBlanc, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Columbia River:
As the Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the 10-month long response to the barge DAVY CROCKETT, Captain Daniel LeBlanc coordinated a complex, $22 million federally funded effort to remove the derelict barge, a project involving multiple federal, state, local and tribal stakeholders as well as unprecedented removal and response methods. Collaborating with a diverse workforce totaling 336 specialized personnel, Captain LeBlanc ensured that the DAVY CROCKETT was stabilized and then spearheaded the construction of an 850-foot cofferdam, lined with an impermeable oil barrier, to completely encompass the barge, allowing it to be dismantled in place while eliminating the potential for contaminants to enter the water. Often each phase of the operation included new obstacles to overcome such as 100-year high water level on the Columbia River. Captain LeBlanc spearheaded an intense public and external affairs campaign to ensure that all stakeholders were kept updated with response efforts and concerns were addressed. He maintained outreach to tribal liaisons and State Historic Preservation Officers, environmental public interest groups and state and local government representatives. The DAVY CROCKETT response resulted in the successful recovery of 33,500 gallons of oil, 4,850 pounds of asbestos, 842,000 pounds of debris, 4.5 million pounds of steel, and the treatment of 1.6 million gallons of oily water.
* * * * *
The USCG Montebello Project Team receives the 2012 Legacy Award from Task Force Member Scott Schaefer (right). The team members included Captain Roger LaFerriere, LCDR Angie Hidalgo, LCDR Caryn Margita, LT Lori Loughran, Ms. Jill Lemon, Chief Warrant Officer Michael Jolly, and Marine Science Technician Second Class Jeff Deronde.
When the S.S. Montebello, a WWII tanker, was torpedoed in December 1941 six miles off Cambria, California in nearly 1,000 feet of water, the disposition of the ship’s cargo of 73,571 barrels of crude oil and 2,477 barrels of bunker fuel oil – as well as lubricating oil - was unknown. Amid growing concerns that this vessel posed a significant environmental risk to California’s coastline and marine sanctuaries, the U.S. Coast Guard S. S. Montebello Project Team liaised with other agencies and opened the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to conduct an underwater assessment. A decision was made to use a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) to determine the content of the vessel’s cargo oil and bunker fuel tanks and to establish a baseline for the overall condition of the vessel and surrounding sea floor. Operational procedures included: collecting underwater video of the vessel’s condition; conducting ultrasonic hull thickness gauging; the use of neutron backscatter remote sensing technology to determine the probability of oil within the tanks; sediment sampling of the surrounding soil for lab analysis; samples from designated tanks to confirm backscatter results and determine a quantifiable amount of oil onboard the vessel; and lastly hull samples for metallurgic testing for corrosion analysis. Based on the findings of the underwater assessment, the Unified Command was able to confirm that the tanker remained upright with no active leaks nor evidence of prior releases, and that the hull was intact with the exception of a small hole. After extensive review of the data and engagement with multiple pollution and salvage experts, the Unified Command determined that there was no substantial oil threat. This operation was a testament to cooperative partnerships and set a precedent for future responses to other World War II wrecks.
* * * * *
Rusty Nall, Executive Vice President, the American Marine Corporation and PENCO:
Rusty Nall is often called on for spill response and marine emergencies or casualties in the Pacific area. Rusty helped establish the Clean Islands Council in Hawaii and continues to advise them today. He recently helped strengthen marine fire-fighting capabilities in Hawaii, and works with the U.S. Coast Guard as an experienced response liaison with on-scene knowledge of many of the small remote islands and atolls in the Pacific. He also represents many industry partners as the designated salvage representative for vessels in distress and is an industry liaison to regulators. Vessel casualties and responses that he has assisted include:
- The Exxon Houston and the Exxon Valdez, both in 1989;
- the cargo ship Dang Delema that grounded and began spilling oil in Micronesia in 1994;
- the Greek cargo ship Ince Express that was sinking off Wake Island in 1998;
- the Fish Tender Windy Bay that struck a rock and sank in Prince William Sound in 2001;
- also in 2001, the sinking of the Japanese training ship Ehime Maru in Hawaii;
- the abandoned tanker Insiko which was drifting toward Johnston Atoll in 2002;
- the bulk freighter Selendang Ayu that grounded and broke up on Unalaska Island, Alaska in 2004;
- the rescue of the sinking Chinese freighter Tong Cheng that entered Hawaiian waters under Force Majeure in 2007; and
- the U.S. Navy vessel Port Royal, which grounded off Honolulu In 2009.
From left to right: Scott Knutson, Richard Wright, Alan Allen, and Joseph Mullin
* * * * *
Richard Wright, retired Pacific NW Regional Vice President of the Marine Spill Response Cooperative:
Richard Wright recently retired as the Regional Vice President of the Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC) Pacific/Northwest Region, which encompasses Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii. Prior to the merger of the Clean Sound Cooperative, Inc. with MSRC in April of 2005, he was the President of Clean Sound. He is also a retired U. S. Coast Guard Captain.
In April of 2005, Mr. Wright expertly guided the MSRC merger with Clean Sound. This merger has enhanced the readiness and response capabilities in Washington (as well as Oregon and Hawaii) by making a larger inventory of resources available and by allowing access to the MSRC's resource base on the West Coast and nationally. Mr. Wright was instrumental in maintaining the combined response inventory that resulted when both companies joined forces. He also ensured that the merged organization provides access for both the U. S. Coast Guard and the State of Washington to call-out and manage all of the combined resources with a single phone call.
"It cannot be overlooked that at the time of the merger, great uncertainly existed within both organizations, which could have resulted in operational chaos were it not for the calming influence and guidance that Mr. Wright exhibited," noted one of the two persons who nominated Mr. Wright. "In all his interactions, whether working with his customers or with regulators, Mr. Richard Wright is known to be an unbiased trust broker. He prides himself on finding ways to address challenges that leave stakeholders feeling they were dealt with fairly."
"Mr. Richard Wright...has always felt his role was to be a significant liaison and honest broker between the oil/gas industry, agencies, tribes, other contractors and the interested public. He has certainly been successful in achieving his goal by contributing to the improved understanding of issues and communication of potential common goals between all of these entities. In doing so he earned the trust and respect of those with whom he worked, whether or not everyone was in agreement on the final outcome," noted the other person nominating him.
Among Mr. Wright's many significant contributions to improving oil spill preparedness and response are:
- Leadership in the successful redrafting of the Washington Department of Ecology's guidelines for contingency plan holders;
- Final resolution of the Oiled Wildlife program equipment needs for the Pacific Northwest;
- Fostering continued improvements in cross-border ( US and Canada) readiness drills; and
- Developing excellent relationships with Tribal entities in the areas of response training and overall communications.
* * * * *
Joseph Mullin, Manager of the Minerals Management Service's National Oil Spill Response Research Program:
Joe Mullin has been the Program Manager for the U.S. Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service's (MMS) Nationwide Oil Spill Response Research (OSRR) Program for more than 18 years. He is responsible for development of research priorities for oil spill response, and for the management of contractual research. He conducts analysis of Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas operations to ensure their use of congressionally-mandated "Best and Safest Technologies," and he advises the OSRR program on appropriate oil spill response equipment and techniques.
Mr. Mullin's research has focused on the study of crude oil's chemical and physical properties, remote sensing, mechanical oil recovery, in-situ burning, chemical treating agents and dispersants, and arctic spill response. He is directly involved in the evaluation of many different types of oil spill response equipment and techniques as well as the development and testing of numerous oil spill countermeasures including fire-resistant booms, skimmers for broken ice conditions, in-situ burning in various environments, and cold water dispersant effectiveness. With a practical background in equipment development and testing, Mr. Mullin participates in numerous laboratory, small-scale or meso-scale experiments, as well as at-sea field trials involving scientists from international agencies and organizations. His experience with in-situ burning of oil as an oil spill response tools derives from participation in more than 200 research burns in the U.S., Canada, and overseas.
Under Mr. Mullin's direction, MMS's OSRR program has successfully developed, coordinated and managed more than 150 research projects and technical assessment studies. All reports from the OSSR program are available at www.mms.gov/tarphome. His collaborative efforts are extensive and he has worked with all major North American and European R&D Programs. Joe often serves as the key broker bringing together government and industry programs for cooperative research; more than 40% of the projects initiated by the MMS in the past 10 years were jointly funded with state, federal and foreign government agencies, academia and private industry. Mr. Mullin has authored or co-authored 134 scientific papers, technical articles and peer-reviewed publications. He has conducted scientific presentations at numerous national and international oceanographic, hydrographic and oil spill conferences, workshops, technical seminars and meetings including the United Nations Conference on the Environment and the U.S.-Indonesia Joint Oil Spill Response Seminar in Jakarta. Mr. Mullin represents the MMS on the Executive Board of the International Oil Spill Conference (IOSC) and has chaired the conference's popular Film Festival since 1999. He has lectured at the U.S. Naval Post Graduate School, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and at NOAA's Atlantic and Pacific Marine Centers. Mr. Mullin serves as a member of several national and international committees, which include:
For more than 16 years Joe has been responsible for the successful operation and management of Ohmsett - the National Oil Spill Response Test Facility located at the U.S. Naval Weapons Station in Leonardo, New Jersey (www.ohmsett.com). It is the only facility in the world that allows full-scale oil spill response testing, training and research on a variety of oils in a marine environment under controlled conditions. Through Mr. Mullin's guidance and leadership, Ohmsett has evolved into a premier research tool, where government agencies, private industry and academia can objectively assess and evaluate all types of oil spill technologies. More than 24 countries have used the Ohmsett facility.
- The Interagency Coordinating Committee for Oil Pollution Research (1995-present);
- The National Response Team-Science and Technology Committee (1994 to present);
- The American Petroleum Institute Spills Advisory Group (1994 to present); and
- The Spills Countermeasures Technology Committee chaired by Environment Canada (1995 to present)
Joe oversaw the expansion of the facility to allow testing of in-situ burn strategies and equipment, new types of sorbents and solidifiers, and remote sensing equipment to detect oil under various conditions. To respond to the challenges of testing and evaluating equipment for oil spill response in ice-infested water, Joe was the driving factor to upgrade Ohmsett for cold water testing and training (with or without ice); Ohmsett is now able to simulate realistic broken ice conditions.
Thanks to Joe's efforts, Ohmsett is also a key resource for spill response training. Personnel from state and federal government agencies, private industry, and foreign countries can actually work with oil on water as they operate various pieces of response equipment. Joe also oversaw the expansion of Ohmsett to allow researchers to test the effectiveness of chemical dispersants, new dispersant formulations and application equipment on a wide variety of oil types under a range of realistic environmental conditions. Ohmsett has become a world leader in realistic dispersant effectiveness testing through the design and development of a calibrated, referenced and realistic test protocol, plus subsequent testing under cold and temperate conditions.
* * * * *
Alan Allen, an oil spill consultant working as "Spiltec":
Throughout his career, Al Allen has contributed a body of work that has benefited both individual organizations and the response community as a whole. Mr. Allen has over 40 years experience as a technical advisor and field supervisor involving hundreds of oil spills around the world. After graduate training in oceanography, petroleum engineering and arctic engineering, he spent several years of mapping natural oil seeps off California in the 60's. After assessing the impacts of spilled oil from the Santa Barbara blowout in 1969, he pioneered some of the first underwater investigations of oil impact on benthic communities. He is recognized as one of the first 50 aquanauts in the U.S., having lived for weeks on the ocean floor in a Hydro-Lab. Mr. Allen has also conducted research, developed strategies, and developed equipment involving the physical removal, chemical treatment, and controlled burning of spilled oil under a broad range of conditions, while providing operational guidance for government and industry organizations involving critical on-scene decisions during response. During the Exxon Valdez spill, Mr. Allen conducted the first offshore controlled burn of oil contained within a fire boom during an actual spill event; he also directed the initial application of chemical dispersants.
During these past 40 years, Mr. Allen served as manager of four oil spill response organizations, one of which was the Alaskan Beaufort Sea Oil Spill Response Body, now known as Alaska Clean Seas. With projects spanning 65 countries, he has developed specialized strategies and equipment for the prevention, surveillance and control of oil spills, while conducting many hundreds of oil spill training courses under arctic, temperate and tropic conditions.
As an example of his work, Mr. Allen recently worked with the Clean Islands Council (a Hawaii response coop) by contributing to and reviewing the curriculum for their "Practical Observation for Oil Spill Response" course. Noted Kim Beasley, General Manager of the Clean Islands Council, "the input and contributions of Mr. Allen were essential to the accuracy and value of our efforts to create an observation program and expand the number of trained observers so necessary for effective response. His efforts on our behalf were without financial remuneration and have directly benefited not only our community but other communities as well. This year alone we will be teaching this course in Anchorage, Honolulu, San Ramon, Houston, and Anacortes." A fundamental contribution to this oil spill observation program was the standardization of spilled oil descriptors that reflect meaningful values for volume estimation, with fewer (reducing the number of descriptors from approximately 18 down to 5) and more intuitive terms to communicate the incident situation to the command post and Unified Command. An indication of the value of his contribution, noted Mr. Beasley, is that NOAA revised their Open Water Oil Observation Job Aid to match many of the aerial observation standards proposed by Mr. Allen.
Mr. Beasley further noted that "Al Allen has been a contributor to Hawaii's dispersant application program, starting in 1994, and was a primary observer /evaluator at our comprehensive 2007 dispersant exercise off of Oahu. His work to create Hydro-Fire Boom, one of three of his patented ideas, took in-situ burning to the next generation by developing a cooling technology that increases the survivability of the boom to enhance the effectiveness of this response option. In Hawaii our response capability has benefited greatly because of his participation and contributions."
* * * * *
Scott Knutson, U.S. Coast Guard District 13 Response Advisory Team Supervisor:
Scott Knutson is a civilian staffer at the U.S. Coast Guard District 13. As a behind-the-scenes staffer, he gets little visibility; yet he is highly respected because he does his job to the highest standards, provides for continuity in community relationships, makes an effort to solicit information, and helps build consensus.
For many years, Mr. Knutson has provided exceptional leadership, mentoring, planning and sweat-effort on numerous projects in the US and Canada. His work ethic, without regard for personal recognition, has directly led to significant positive results in the areas of response planning, training, cross-border communications, equipment testing, and drill facilitation/evaluation.
His personal style has allowed him to be successful with the interested public, contingency plan holders, tribal members, contractors, and Canadian governmental officials, all for the benefit of spill prevention and response. Among Mr. Knutson's many significant contributions to improving oil spill preparedness and response, he:
- Organized the Viscous Oil Pumping Workshop, which led to the industry-wide change in manufacture of pumps used for viscous oil;
- Co-chaired the first-ever National Maritime Salvage Conference with over 300 attendees from around the world;
- Developed the Outer Coast Logistics Project and follow-on drills, training sessions and numerous meetings aimed at providing first-responder training for Coastal Tribes;
- Makes tenacious efforts to improve communications with regard to ICS processes, Incident Command Post expectations and realities, and overall communications readiness critical to mounting and sustaining a cross-border spill response;
- Organizes with an industry partner the annual NW Oil Spill Course to provide training tailored to Northwest conditions;
- Ensures U.S. Coast Guard technical support in the design, implementation and honest evaluations of all of the major oil spill drills in Washington and Oregon;
- Maintains strong working relationships with Tribal entities in the U.S. Coast Guard District 13 area; and_
- Organizes the annual "Ad Hoc Equipment Meeting" to critique the latest spill response technologies.
The Members of the Pacific States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force presented their 2008 Legacy Awards at their Annual Meeting in Victoria, British Columbia on September 18th. Awards were presented by Joan Hesketh, the Deputy Minister for the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, who hosted the Annual Meeting.
Each of our 2008 winners has demonstrated their dedication to improving oil spill prevention, preparedness, and response on the West Coast. CONGRATULATIONS to the following 2008 Legacy Award winners:
From left to right and back to front: CAPT Timothy Plummer, David Sawicki, Bob Mattson for Mayor Marquardt, Senator Harriet Spanel, and Julie Knight
* * * * *
Mayor Shirley Marquardt was unable to attend the Awards Presentation; this photo shows her recovering the throwing gun line for the Emergency Towing System during the 2007exercise
Mayor of Unalaska, Alaska:
Within the last decade, several vessel groundings occurring in the Aleutian Islands have negatively impacted the community of Unalaska, with significant environmental and economic damage, as well as tragic loss of life. In 2007 Mayor Marquardt convened a Disabled Vessel workgroup to address the likelihood of future groundings, and to design and employ a proactive strategy of prevention. The Aleutian Emergency Towing System (ETS) workgroup was created to develop an emergency towing system to better respond to disabled vessels in the Aleutian area using local tugs. Under the leadership of Mayor Marquardt, the City of Unalaska has been a catalyst for this project. The workgroup she convened was charged to design a defensive strategy that allows for a much better chance of successfully helping local assets react to the constant challenge of immediate response to a distressed vessel in the chaotic marine environment of the Bering Sea. Although not mandated by any federal or state requirements, the City Council allocated funds to purchase one ETS system for Unalaska and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation purchased a second ETS, both secured in the Port of Dutch Harbor. The two systems are designed to handle vessels of 50,000 dwt and over, and are both designed for deployment by tug or USCG helicopter to the distressed vessel. The Aleutian ETS's purpose is to improve the ability of local tugs to help prevent a grounding and subsequent oil spill in the nearshore waters of Unalaska; the ETS system is designed for fast deployment to the entire Aleutian Island Chain. More information on this project is available at:
* * * * *
David Sawicki, BP Cherry Point Refinery (Plant Protection Superintendent):
As an employee of BP David Sawicki has been involved in emergency response and crisis management focusing on both corporate and facility issues for many years. He presently works at the BP Cherry Point Refinery in Washington. His innovation, commitment and dedication to outstanding performance reach beyond BP and the Cherry Point refinery, however. Through cooperative processes with industry and agencies, Mr. Sawicki has been able to achieve significant results outside of regulatory mandates. For instance, beginning in 2003 David helped organize the Outer Coast Logistics Project to improve response planning for the outer coast of Washington, which presents enormous response challenges. As a result, risk assessments as well as response plans and strategies have been updated, and industry has moved to position spill response equipment closer to the coast. Mr. Sawicki is also a driving force behind efforts to improve Washington State's ability to respond to oiled wildlife. He brokered agreement on a plan to upgrade and integrate three existing mobile wildlife trailers for oil wildlife rehabilitation. Singly, each trailer has the capacity to manage 20 - 40 birds; when co-located, the three units can care for approximately 100 oiled birds. David continues to work on funding, as well as developing ideas to provide infrastructure beyond this first 100-bird level.
* * * * *
Julie Knight, the Islands Oil Spill Association:
The Islands' Oil Spill Association (IOSA) originated in 1985, when a small group of concerned citizens organized to provide a local response capability until full federal and state response resources could arrive. That grass-roots volunteer effort has evolved into a sophisticated oil and hazardous material spill response network protecting an ecologically sensitive archipelago that is home to a resident ORCA population among other endangered and threatened species. IOSA has field-tested and developed 54 geographic response plans to protect the most sensitive resources in the Island's region. Still volunteer-based, IOSA is on-call 24 hours a day throughout the year. As of 2007 year-end, IOSA had been called for 465 spill reports in the San Juan Islands, as well as for wildlife rescue services in three major spills elsewhere in Washington State. IOSA now has over 200 trained responders, and is fully recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard as a federal Oil Spill Response Organization, and by Washington State as an approved Primary Response Contractor. Ms. Julie Knight was instrumental in the start-up of IOSA and has been key to the organization's continued growth. She has enhanced the response and wildlife rescue capability in the region and is a regular contributor to policy discussions in various forums, including the Northwest Area Committee workgroup, the Straits and Northern Puget Sound regional marine safety committee, and the Early Action Oil Spill Task Force. Through partnerships with other commercial response organizations and government agencies, Julie has brokered donations of resources for response equipment and pre-staged caches of equipment in sensitive areas to facilitate rapid deployment in an emergency. Additional information about IOSA and its mission may be obtained at IOSA's website, http://iosaonline.org/index.htm.
* * * * *
Captain Tim Plummer, Tesoro Maritime Company:
Capt. Plummer worked with the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company after the Exxon Valdez spill from 1989 to 1997 to revamp their oil spill prevention and response program. He oversaw creation of the Ship Escort Response Vessel System (SERVS) and later coordinated activities with the shipping companies to ensure safe berthing and loading at the Valdez Marine Terminal. In 1998, Capt. Plummer joined Tesoro, and is now President of Tesoro Maritime Company. At Tesoro he created a vetting program and replaced older single hull U.S. tankers and barges with modern double hull tonnage. Capt. Plummer also initiated a detailed mooring analysis of Tesoro's Nikiski dock in Cook Inlet, which led to upgrades using new technology. He has also initiated numerous improvements to Tesoro's single-point mooring facility in Hawaii. His initiative to bring a tractor tug to Cook Inlet has been one of the most important maritime safety achievements in Cook Inlet, according to the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council (CIRCAC), a past Legacy Award recipient. Under Capt. Plummer's leadership, Tesoro has decided to extend the tug's presence in Nikiski from winter-only to year-round. The tug Vigilant is now in Cook Inlet and is specifically designed for operating in harsh winter ice conditions. According to CIRCAC, "It is Capt. Plummer's foresight to go above and beyond regulatory compliance that has made him a catalyst for exceptional achievements in maritime safety for Alaska."
* * * * *
Harriet Spanel, retiring Washington State Senator:
Harriet Spanel is a committed, hard working individual who has driven policy development to protect Washington's sensitive ecosystems, including Puget Sound. She currently serves in the leadership of the Washington State Senate, and has served in the Washington Legislature since 1987, representing northwest Skagit County, southwest Whatcom County, and all of San Juan County. Senator Spanel's term expires in January 2009, when she is retiring from public service. She is a consensus builder with the ability to work successfully with a wide range of stakeholders and fellow legislators representing a broad range of views. As a result, Senator Spanel is responsible for a number of improvements to Washington State's oil spill programs and policies. For example, she:
- Sponsored most of the important oil spill legislation enacted in Washington over the past 15 years;
- Insisted on the creation of Washington's Oil Spill Advisory Council, an independent stakeholder body, in 2005;
- Participated in the North Puget Sound Long-Term Oil Spill Risk Management Panel from 1999-2000;
- Effectively advocated for the Neah Bay emergency response tug; without her support the tug would not have been funded; and
- Participated in and supporter of the progress made through the State's 2008 Summit with the U.S. Coast Guard, District 13.
Senator Spanel provided leadership on these issues out of passion for the work and because she cares deeply about protecting the environment from oil spills and other environmental threats. In addition, she is a strong and effective advocate for public and stakeholder participation in policy development.
To Top of Page...
From Left to Right: Dr. Mervin Fingas; David "DC" Carter;the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach as represented by CDR Laura O'Hare, LT Jason Marineau, LTJG Justin Rule, LT Ron Fien, MST2 Justin Hoffer, and MST2 Michel Carreon; the West Coast JAT as represented by Bruce Joab, Charlie Hebert, Ian Zelo, Dale Davis, Dan Doty, Scott Robertson, Mike Ammann. Chris Wilke and Chad Bowechop were not available for this photo.
Dr. Mervin Fingas, now retired from Environment Canada's Emergencies Science and Technology Division, has truly made "legacy" contributions to oil spill research for over thirty years. His contributions include the study of oil's physical and chemical properties, the fate and behavior, weathering, modeling, analysis, remote detection, and cleanup and control of oil products. Dr. Fingas has investigated numerous oil spill countermeasures including dispersants, demulsifiers, beach and shoreline cleaning agents, in situ burning, and mechanical recovery. He's developed algorithms to explain the fate and effects of spilled oil and products such as orimulsion. Leading edge trajectory and fate models in both the public and private sector utilize these algorithms today.
Under Merv's direction, the Emergencies Science and Technology Division of Environment Canada pioneered a number of techniques such as the swirling flask used to measure dispersant effectiveness, the airborne laser fluorosensors for detection and classification of oil, and the Laser Ultrasonic Remote Sensing of Oil Thickness sensor, which produces absolute measurements of oil thickness from an airborne platform. He also made significant contributions to Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Team (SCAT) procedures for mapping contamination during a spill event.
Merv's projects have ranged from laboratory bench-scale to mega-scale experiments involving the collaboration of hundreds of scientists from agencies world-wide. The Newfoundland Offshore Burn Experiment - or NOBE - conducted in 1993 off Canada's east coast, is one example. His collaborative efforts have included the Canadian Coast Guard, the Canadian Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, the Department of Fisheries and Natural Resources Canada, CEDRE in France, the UK Marine Pollution Control Unit, and in the U.S., the Minerals Management Service, the Coast Guard, EPA, and NOAA. Moreover, Merv has consulted internationally with organizations such as IMO, the UN Environment Program, and the World Meteorological Organization. Merv has been published in over 600 technical papers, Environment Canada reports, scientific journals, conference proceedings, and the like. He was also instrumental in establishing the annual Artic Marine Oil Spill Program Technical seminar - AMOP - which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year.
Merv Fingas has also been involved on-scene at numerous major oil spills such as the Exxon Valdez spill, where he acted as coordinator of remote sensing activities. He's also responded to or advised on the Nestucca, the Arrow, the recovery of the Irving Whale oil barge, the Braer, the Sea Empress, the Prestige, and the Amoco Cadiz, among others.
To Top of Page...
Chris Wilke of the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance has led a collaborative effort - working with various local and state government agencies as well as non-profit organizations - to secure grant funding and implement the Clean Marina Washington Program, which protects water resources and wildlife habitat by promoting environmentally-sound marina and boating practices.
The program is a voluntary stewardship program open to all public and private marinas in Washington. To date, the program has certified 31 marinas, primarily in the Puget Sound area, and another 20 marinas have begun the application process by taking the Clean Marina Pledge. Wilke also conducts site visits of the marinas, and as the program expanded, he supervised improved certification standards. Chris has developed a statewide database of marinas across Washington; launched the Clean Marina Washington website; compiled an information packet with pledge materials, a program brochure, an eligibility checklist, and an application worksheet; developed a logo and a marina flag to be flown by certified marinas. In addition, he has persuaded five agencies to partner with him in the development of educational materials and strategies to reach more marinas.
Chris encourages certified marinas to set pollution prevention goals and verifiably implement pollution prevention practices, such as:
Some examples of Clean Marina projects that marinas have completed are:
- Reducing and properly managing hazardous wastes
- Encouraging responsible sewage disposal
- Conducting marina operations with the goal of protecting the environment
- Educating boaters on clean boating practices, and
- Demonstrating innovation and environmental leadership
- Installing a bilge water collection facility
- Providing oil spill materials on docks and to tenants
- Maintaining safe and secure hazardous waste disposal like this one at the Stimson Marina, and
- Supporting a local beach clean-up
In addition, Chris promotes the Clean Marina Program at boat shows, to harbormaster groups and commercial fisherman. While promoting environmental stewardship he offers on-the-ground tips for improving water quality and eliminating toxic pollutants. As a member of the Pacific Oil Spill Prevention Education Team, Chris has demonstrated a long history of outreach to recreational boaters focused on preventing small spills and improving spill response.
To Top of Page...
Chad Bowechop is a policy analyst for the Makah Indian Tribe located in Neah Bay, Washington, where he's in charge of oil spill prevention and response issues. For many years, Chad has been instrumental in helping Washington create a safer marine environment by emphasizing oil spill prevention off the coast of Washington and within the waters of Puget Sound.
For centuries, the Makah tribe has drawn sustenance - both physical and spiritual - from the Olympic rain forests, mountains, rivers, and surrounding waters. Today, the Makah Tribe's Usual and Accustomed marine area is located at the marine transportation crossroads of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean. This puts their cultural and natural resources at the entrance to both a U.S. high-volume port complex and Canada's largest port, plus the world's third largest Naval complex, a National Marine Sanctuary, a National Park, a National Fish Hatchery and a National Wildlife Refuge. The son of the late Makah Chairman George Bowechop, who was known as the Jefferson of the Makah, Chad learned first hand from his father and grandfather the importance of the 1855 Treaty of Neah Bay, of which his great-great-grandfather was one of the signatories. Chad's efforts in protecting the Washington Coast from oil spills reflect his dedication to protecting the rights that his people reserved in that treaty.
Chad Bowechop has been instrumental in the placement of the state-sponsored rescue tug in Neah Bay, and has assisted the state in obtaining funding for this important spill prevention measure. The tug has conducted 34 responses since 1999. That's a possible 34 oil spill prevented.
Chad participated in the Washington Department of Ecology's Risk Assessment process for the Strait of Juan de Fuca, ensuring that cultural resources were considered in that process. Because Chad urges continuous improvement and skillfully uses the regulatory and legislative processes to prevent complacency on the part of both industry and agencies, Washington updated its Area Plan with improved response policies that will benefit the state for years to come.
Chad is a tireless educator of citizens, federal and state agencies, tribal nations and elected officials on the benefits of investing in spill prevention, preparedness and response. He is passionate, eloquent, and articulate in communicating the importance of the marine environment to the continued well-being of the Makah people. He helps to communicate to non-native people that the Treaty and the rights of his people are not frozen in time, but must continue to develop and evolve. Chad Bowechop's advocacy on oil spill issues has been a constant reminder that if a spill were to occur in this area, it would be difficult to assign a monetary value to the tribe's loss of connection to its culture, history, environment and heritage.
To Top of Page...
David "DC" Carter, who serves as Pacific Area Manager for PENCO as well as the Operations Supervisor for the Clean Islands Council (CIC), has a legacy of accomplishments throughout our region. He began his response career working a maxi-barge along the shores of Knight Island, during the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989. He also assembled and operated the "BAT Cave" depot barge in support of bioremediation efforts in Alaska's Prince William Sound. Later, in California, DC operated an Oil Spill Response Vessel off Huntington Beach during the American Trader spill. And, as the operations supervisor for CIC, "DC" has led response crews on vessel groundings and oil spills throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
In 1992, DC helped introduce Brush Pack skimmers to west coast responders and built or installed the first LORI Side Collectors for the Clean Seas co-op in Santa Barbara, the Clean Coastal Waters co-op in LA/LB, and the Clean Islands Council in Honolulu. DC developed pile cleaning techniques and a portable boom cleaning station. DC has continued to work with manufacturers and the response community to identify improvements to a variety of pumps, skimmers, and response vessels. He also helped build and operate Hawaii's Wildlife Response Modules, which are designed to perform separate functions in a "campus" format that reduces operational conflicts. CIC had partnered with the State of Hawaii and the U.S. Coast Guard to maintain the ADDs pack dispersant system for Hawaii, which DC helped develop and operate.
DC's work with PENCO took him back to Alaska in 1999 when two trailing locomotives and ten tanker cars of a southbound Alaska Railroad freight train derailed near Canyon, Alaska. Two of the derailed tanker cars leaked approximately 12,500 gallons of jet fuel into creeks and beaver ponds on both sides of the tracks, as well as adjacent wetlands. PENCO was hired to clean up the stream and ponds. Under Dave's direction, they used steam lances to cut slots diagonally across the ice ponds, then slid booms in and let them freeze in place. When the ice melted at the boom apexes, they were able to recover the fuel.
In 1999 and 2003 DC participated in the JVOPS workshops that developed the water injection annulus used to remove highly viscous oils from stricken vessels. DC set-up and operated equipment, took measurements, and added field know-how to the effort. As a result, the Clean Islands Council received the Department of Transportation's Secretary's Team Award at the 2005 International Oil Spill Conference.
DC has also been a key member of the CIC training and outreach programs. CIC conducts approximately 50 training courses each year which are available to the entire response community, including Trustee and government agencies, so many front-line responders have honed their skills at training sessions conducted by "DC". The Pacific region has greatly benefited from DC's innovation, energy, and dedication.
To Top of Page...
From left to right: Bruce Joab, CA OSPR; Charlie Hebert, U.S. FWS; Ian Zelo, NOAA; Dale Davis, WA Ecology; Scott Robertson, DCOR; Mike Ammann, Chevron.
Formed in 1995, the West Coast Joint Assessment Team (JAT) is truly a team effort. Representatives from West Coast state and federal trustee agencies, as well as representatives from the oil industry, including major and independent oil companies and oil transportation companies, meet regularly to share information and develop a common approach to cooperative Natural Resource Damage Assessments.
The group meets three times a year to discuss issues related to cooperative assessments with the specific goals of:
After a number of years of meeting and discussing NRDA issues, the JAT determined that the best way to ensure that the ideas, agreements and procedures they had discussed would be applied in an actual incident was to include them in a written document. Consequently, a series of brainstorming meetings, compilation of procedures and processes from various documents, and joint editing exercises ensued to embody the expertise and experience from all team members and to develop a document that describes a mutually agreeable cooperative assessment process and data collection and analysis procedures.
- Identifying and addressing technical challenges regarding various aspects of natural resource damage assessment;
- Promoting the use of best available science in the conduct of natural resource damage assessments;
- Sharing information among the membership, including regulatory changes, technical advancements, research, and case studies;
- Establishing and maintaining a network of natural resource trustees and industry representatives to ensure that natural resource damage assessment coordination after spills occurs as efficiently and quickly as possible
- Providing relevant guidance on conducting natural resource damage assessment for potential use by all practitioners; and
- Promoting a streamlined assessment process that focuses on restoration endpoints.
The purpose of the Recommendations for Conducting Cooperative Natural Resource Damage Assessment document is to provide guidance to natural resource trustees and responsible parties on how to initiate a cooperative NRDA, and move from the initial chaotic phase of response to a cooperative injury assessment as soon as possible. It is essentially a pre-plan for establishing a cooperative ephemeral data collection team and identifying what types of samples should be collected, how they should be collected and what they should be analyzed for. Although this document focuses on marine oil spills, the concepts expressed here can apply to other NRDA incidents and environments.
The document is believed to be the first of its kind that has been prepared cooperatively by trustees and the oil industry. Even though this is not a regulatory guidance document, it has been endorsed by all of the participating trustee and industry representatives with the hope that it will streamline the collection of ephemeral data and development of a cooperative damage assessment. It is also expected the document will lead to a streamlining of the entire cooperative process which should result in significant cost savings to industry and a more timely initiation of restoration activities. The document has been posted on the NOAA Cooperative Assessment Process (CAP) website under Joint Assessment Teams and links can also be found on the websites of the JAT's cooperating members, including this Pacific States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force site.
The efforts of the team to produce this ground breaking document and promote the cooperative assessment process and NRDA preparedness - as well as to remain a viable group for over 12 years - are truly remarkable. It is even more remarkable considering the members participate voluntarily and that their participation is generally above and beyond their normal job duties and responsibilities. The active members of the JAT include:
- Alaska Tanker Company
- California Department of Fish and Game, Office of Spill Prevention and Response
- Dos Cuadras Offshore Resources
- Kinder Morgan
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
- Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Pacific States-BC Oil Spill Task Force
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- U.S. Navy
- Washington Department of Ecology
- Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
To Top of Page...
From left to right: CDR Laura O'Hare; Jay Manning, Director of the Washington Department of Ecology, who presented the award; LT Jason Marineau; LT Ron Fien; LTJG Justin Rule; MST2 Justin Hoffer; and MST2 Michel Carreon
This Legacy Award honors the cooperative/collaborative spirit exhibited by the USCG Sector Los Angles/Long Beach (LA/LB) in working with other federal, state and local agencies. Southern California presents many unique challenges to oil spill responders and planners. The Los Angeles/Long Beach Sector of the USCG covers areas ranging from pristine environmentally sensitive areas - like the Channel Islands - to highly industrialized areas in and around the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Due to the area's large population and amount of industry, there is no shortage of spill incidents in southern California waters.
In the past it was not uncommon to see agencies trying to attack the same problem using different tactics and only addressing their particular interest. Now, the entire U.S. Coast Guard staff, from Captain of the Port to field responders, uses the team approach (Unified Command) as often as possible. While the concept of Unified Command is not new, USCG staff responsible for spill response in Southern California has done an excellent job of turning theory into reality. It is now quite common for the USCG to call and ask for participation in a Unified Command to look at problems days before a decision needs to be made.
Ever since the 2004 SONS exercise, Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach has been very willing to bring other agencies into the decision-making process early. For example, major revisions have been made to the Area Contingency Plan for Southern California in the past 18 months. It is easy to invite people from all walks of life to come together and discuss methods to deal with oil spills. What is difficult or sometimes impossible, is to get diverse groups to work together to reach a common goal. The USCG Sector LA/LB has made it clear to everyone in this area that response and planning will be done in a professional, organized manner. As the revised response plans were being completed they were tested in drills and exercises. The lessons learned have been incorporated into future drills, so that the same mistakes are not repeated.
The Coast Guard oil spill responders have made a big effort to improve communications, and to address problems before they become a crisis. There is a huge difference between following law and policy, and embracing a problem and trying to find solutions. The USCG Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach Environmental/Pollution Response Branch has shown a willingness to seek input, learn from responses, and to improve with each response. The result of this effort has been an increased level of readiness for pollution responses in the Southern CA area. The Task Force is pleased to recognize the USCG men and women that plan for and respond to oil spills in southern California for their outstanding efforts.
To Top of Page...
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 states oil spill contingency plan, on developing an outstanding Response Center, on developing Hawaiis 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.
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 Sidneys 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.
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.
The Marine Exchange of Alaska is receiving a Legacy Award in recognition of the organizations 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 Exchanges ASVTS to continue monitoring vessel traffic to ensure environmentally sound maritime operations. The Marine Exchange of Alaskas 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.
To Top of Page...
Crowley Marine Transport Corporations Marine Transport Lines subsidiary received a 2005 Legacy Award in recognition of their outstanding commitment to safety and spill prevention. As the largest independent operator of petroleum barges and tankers in the United States, Crowley designed, built and, operates an Articulated Tug and Barge (ATB) fleet consisting of four Reliance Class vessels, which have been in operation on the West Coast since 2002 and have delivered over 50,000,000 barrels of cargo with no spills.
The four new ATBs incorporate the latest advances in double hull design; redundant propulsion and engineering systems; inert gas systems; vapor recovery; enhanced cargo management systems; and reduced emission electronic diesel engines. The communication and navigation equipment is among the most technologically advanced in the industry today. These ATBs exceed environmental regulatory requirements by being the first class of barges built, documented and maintained to the requirements of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) SafeHull as well as meeting all Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) international standards. The Crowley ATBs use an innovative Intercon notch connection that significantly improves upon the conventional tow wire system; it has been proven for full ocean service and allows the tug and barge to move locked together at speeds up to 12 knots and in a Beaufort 5 sea condition.
Crowley has created an Environmental, Safety and Quality Assurance Management System to ensure operating excellence. The Management System is an integration of the ISO 9001 quality assurance program; the International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Control (ISM Code); the American Waterways Operators (AWO) Responsible Carrier Program (RCP) and the ISO 14001 environmental management system. These environmental, safety, and quality programs are combined into a single Operational Excellence Management System. All of these international management system certifications exceed regulatory requirements. As an example of their commitment to spill prevention, Crowley has installed remote shutdowns that allow terminal operators to secure onboard barge cargo pumps from a dockside location to stop cargo operations in the event of an emergency.
Crowleys stated Safety Vision is “to be recognized as the global safety leader in the transportation industry.” Their ongoing Safety Leadership training includes management and maritime union leaders and all ATB officers and crews. Crowleys safety and environmental performance goals include zero injuries; zero damages and zero environmental spills as well as performance objectives such as job safety analyses; near miss reporting; Why Tree incident investigations; safety assessments; and effective safety meetings. Crowley conducts ongoing employee training and education on Crowleys safety culture and environmental protection programs, and their partnership with the maritime unions is working on including the Safety Leadership training in their union training schools.
In addition, crewing levels on their ATBs exceed USCG requirements, and Crowley also utilizes an employee reward system, and corporate management keeps an open channel for feedback from employees and their union. This adds up to a team effort focused on spill prevention and vessel safety. The net result of all these efforts is that Crowley has set the model for operation of ATBs on the West Coast
BP Shipping, Incorporated received a 2005 Legacy Award in recognition of their sustained superior performance in the prevention of petroleum spills along the West Coast. Realizing the importance of reducing exposure to coastal resources, BP Shipping has voluntarily directed its ship captains to maintain an 85 mile distance from shore to preclude shoreline impact if problems arose during transit. BP Shipping has extended that directive beyond the tankers involved in the TAPS trade to all the tankers owned, operated or chartered by BP Shipping.
BP Shipping is investing heavily in preventing spills from tankers supplying crude oil to west coast ports. In September of 2000, BP Shipping contracted with the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company for a new fleet of state-of-the-art oil tankers. BP Shipping has invested almost one billion dollars to build four tankers with double hulls and redundant propulsion and steering systems. The ships incorporate the latest proven technology in ship navigation, cargo handling, machinery control systems and pollution prevention. The ships have oil pipe work normally seen on a tanker deck, located within the ships hull and employ water lubricated stern bearings that prevent the loss of oil through the propeller shaft seals. These ships are represented as the most advanced tanker designed in the world. The first of these tankers, the Alaskan Frontier began west coast service in August of 2004 and the second ship entered service in March 2005 with the third scheduled for delivery later in 2005 and the fourth ship in 2006. BP Shipping additionally trades and operates a number of international flag ships to the US West Coast. These ships are part of the youngest fleet amongst the oil majors and are managed to the highest operational and integrity standards.
BP Shippings corporate culture is committed to spill prevention and environmental protection, including reduction of air emissions in ports. BP applied for membership to the California Oil Spill Technical Advisory Committee, and Governor Davis subsequently made an appointment in 2001 for BP to represent the interests of the oil industry, and provide a conduit for industry/government relations in oil spill prevention.
US Coast Guard Commander (Retired) William Whitson received a 2005 Legacy Award in recognition of his outstanding work ethic and history of valuable initiatives. For instance, as the alternate Coast Guard co-chair of the Canadian/US Joint Response Team, he was responsible for continuing efforts to improve response actions and preparedness for international boundary waters in northern Puget Sound region. CDR Whitson led the completion of numerous equipment deployment exercises and joint response actions to facilitate integrating US and Canadian response forces, and he introduced the Incident Command System process into the Canadian response vernacular to enhance seamless command and control and integration of collective efforts.
He also made significant improvements in the use of the Incident Command System, making the Northwest a leader in the transition to NIIMS (now NIMS) well ahead of other areas in the country. This included the formation of a district Incident Management Assist Team (first IMAT in the Pacific Area) to assist and ensure the success of Coast Guard Incident Commanders. This model has been successfully implemented on several occasions including the response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, numerous oil spill responses, and the SONS 2004 exercise as the most notable.
Following the difficulty encountered by responders in removing heavy fuel from the New Carissa when she grounded on the Oregon Coast, CDR Whitson initiated the Viscous Oil Pumping Workshop which helped find a solution to removing cold, viscous oil during salvage operations.
Participants in this internationally-attended event developed a solution to the vexing problem of pumping cold, highly viscous liquids during salvage operations, which was the use of a water flange. The water flange is used worldwide today in most new build heavy viscous oil pumps.
CDR Whitson also organized and moderated the Salvage Conference in 2002 which initiated an ongoing and productive dialogue between the salvage industry, spill responders, and state/federal regulators.
In addition, CDR Whitson championed the development of a collaborative Logistics Workshop and exercise with oil transportation and spill response industry leaders, tribal councils and local government executives designed to address the many obstacles associated with responding to spills along the mostly inaccessible coastlines along the Northwest coast of Washington (which encompasses the Olympic Coast Marine Sanctuary).
CDR Whitson also demonstrated a strong commitment to partnering with states over the last 12 years. His previous active duty division officer, CAPT Chip Boothe, who made this nomination, notes that CDR Whitson “was instrumental in re-energizing a collaborative effort to protect…. Washington waters” after the USCG v. Locke decision. CDR Whitson worked to refine the Memorandum of Understanding now in place between the US Coast Guard 13th District and the State of Washington.
US Coast Guard Eleventh District received a 2005 Legacy Award for their role in developing the Probe for Oil Pollution Evidence in the Environment (POPEIE). This pioneering law enforcement tool integrates a unique combination of technologies to identify and prosecute violators of international laws prohibiting the illegal discharge of oil at sea, and represents a new capability for the United States Coast Guard (USCG).
This device was initially developed by LT Richard Sanders while he was at District 11. Following his transfer, LTJG Blanca Leiva oversaw the project through the testing phases and the USCG approval processes. InterOcean Systems, Inc. developed and delivered POPEIE under contract with the USCG District 11 Marine Safety Division (D11m), with additional funding provided by the USCG Research and Development Centers Law Enforcement Advancement Program and the USCG Innovation Council.
The POPEIE buoy is an air-deployable, oil spill-sampling device that can easily and reliably be used to collect a forensically defensible spill sample. Physical samples are difficult to obtain from a boat because of challenges in relocating a spill, and are nearly impossible to obtain from attendant aircraft using available techniques.
Patrolling aircraft will carry POPEIE buoys on board for immediate deployment into the spill when an oil slick is sighted. Once deployed into the oil slick, POPEIE passively and automatically collects an uncontaminated sample of oil. POPEIE then broadcasts its location through a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver via the ARGOS satellite network. Using this GPS position, a surface craft or helicopter then collects the POPEIE containing the sample. POPEIE may be reacquired up to two weeks after deployment, as warranted by location and conditions. Once collected, the oil sample is forwarded to the USCG Marine Safety Laboratory (MSL), using standard chain of custody procedures. Concurrently, suspect vessels known to have been in the vicinity, or observed near the slick, are boarded at the earliest opportunity to obtain samples for comparison purposes and these samples are then also forwarded to the USCG MSL. By matching characteristic “fingerprints” of these samples using Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometry analysis, indisputable physical evidence is obtained.
POPEIE has been certified for deployment from a C-130 and is in the process of being certified for deployment from a helicopter. Its ability to retrieve a sample of oil was successfully tested at the Minerals Management Service OHMSETT test facility in New Jersey. Once approval is given for deployment from a helicopter, US Coast Guard District 11 plans to test it on the Santa Barbara oil seeps.
Cholly Mercer, President, Rainier Petroleum Corporation received a 2005 Legacy Award in recognition of an outstanding commitment to spill prevention and preparedness. Cholly Mercer is the President of the Rainier Petroleum Corporation based in Seattle, Washington, and a Board Member of Rainiers parent company Pecos Incorporated. Pecos, Chaired by Mr. John Zar is headquartered in Los Angeles, California and is the largest supplier of marine gas oil and marine lubricants on the U.S. West Coast and Panama. Cholly is a tireless educator of industry, citizens and the legislature on the benefits of investing in spill prevention, preparedness and response. Rainier Petroleum is an independent marine fuel and lubricant terminal operator with fixed facilities in two locations, a specialty fleet of tank trucks making deliveries to deep draft vessels, and two tank vessels that transport product over the waters of Puget Sound. Rainiers customers include the ferry systems for Washington and Alaska, tug companies, tanker and container operators, fishing vessels, Department of Defense and US Coast Guard vessels, and other types of marine craft. The realm of regulations that cover each of these operations is enormous. On a daily basis, Rainier safely completes numerous over-water oil transfers using procedures that exceed minimum regulatory requirements. As members of the American Waterways Operators (AWO), both Pecos and Rainier participate in AWOs Responsible Carrier Program.
Under Chollys leadership, Rainier Petroleum has chosen to voluntarily pre-boom oil transfers when it is safe and effective to do so. The monetary costs associated with this choice are not small. For Rainier, putting boom in the water safely is a three person operation, with one on the dock and two in a boat in the water. Rainier makes this voluntary investment because they know that immediate containment of potential spills is an optimal response tactic.
During vessel transfers, Rainier employs a number of procedures that exceed requirements. An employee is stationed at the valve during the entire process to react immediately if necessary. The Rainier facilities maintain detailed fuel transfer logs. Operators are knowledgeable on flow rates and tank capacities for the vessels they fuel. Rainier employees maintain awareness of vessels with a history of spills, and initiate increased precautions when fueling these vessels.
The Company is ready to respond promptly at each transfer location, no matter how remote. Their tank trucks have been upgraded to carry spill response gear on-board to quickly mitigate spills should they happen. Rainier provides training for their tank truck drivers beyond whats required, including twenty-four hour HAZWOPPER training to enable drivers to respond to spills. They also train their drivers to the state of Washingtons Facility Personnel Oil Handling Training and Certification Program, and incorporate elements of the Canadian Coast Guards “Tank Truck to Marine Vessel Oil Transfer Procedures.” Rainer also goes beyond requirements by having an oil spill response organization on retainer during all transfers over water.
Rainier goes beyond US federal insurance requirements of $1 million and carries $5 million coverage which includes pollution response for loading/unloading events.
Rainier has designed and built an innovative truck fleet which carry both bulk and packaged products, thus reducing the number of delivery runs by nearly half and saving on both fuel and air pollution impacts.
Mr. Mercer subscribes to a training and safety program that far exceeds the minimum levels, in terms of hours, content and frequency. He values his employees and keeps safety as a number one objective.
Cholly Mercer shows up when it counts at regulatory or legislative processes, and has been successful at ensuring that laws, rules and local ordinances are enacted which improve spill prevention, preparedness and response. The employees at Rainier are a strong team and key to the success of this company at preventing and minimizing spill consequences. The oil market is highly competitive, especially for an independent company. It would be easy for Rainier to merely do the minimum and put profit first, but they dont. Cholly sets this culture not only because he knows it is the right thing to do for the environment, but because he believes that it makes economic sense as well.
A 2004 Legacy Award was presented to the Alaska Tanker Company, LLC (ATC) in recognition of their extraordinary commitment to safety and oil spill prevention. ATC operates eight tankers that transit the waters of every member jurisdiction of the Pacific States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force. During 2002 and 2003, ATC transported 13 billion gallons of crude oil with only 2 gallons being spilled, and they completed more than five million man-hours without a single lost time injury.
ATC was the first US shipping company to become certified to the ISO 14001 environmental standard, and it has been recognized by both Alaska and Washington as well as by the US Coast Guard for its outstanding performance. ATC has conclusively demonstrated that preventing spills and injuries is not only the right thing to do, but is cost effective as well, having saved millions of dollars in injury claims, spill response costs, and insurance premiums.
ATC firmly believes that openly reporting near misses and losses of containment - and using this information as the basis for improvement - is a key factor in instilling the awareness and behaviors that prevent pollution. The following table shows that as the number of audits and loss of containment or near miss reports went up, the volume of spills and lost time injuries dropped dramatically.
Joan Lundstrom received a 2004 Legacy Award in recognition of her outstanding efforts to promote navigation safety – and therefore spill prevention - in the San Francisco Bay area.
Joan was a charter staff member of the Bay Conservation and Development Commissions oil spill prevention program and later represented BCDC on the Harbor Safety Committee of the San Francisco Bay Region where she served as vice-chair for four years and continues to serve as a charter member. Her Harbor Safety Committee service includes: Preparing an analysis of the economic impacts of the San Francisco Bay tug escort regulations Chairing the Tug Escort Workgroup Chairing the Underwater Rocks Removal Workgroup Chairing the Physical Oceanography Real-time System (PORTS) Workgroup Being one of three members who wrote the initial Harbor Safety Plan Chairing the Harbor Safety Plan Annual Update Workgroup Co-chairing the Harbor Safety Committee Bylaws Workgroup She continues to serve as a BCDC Commissioner and an active, contributing Harbor Safety Committee member.
In addition, Joan regularly attended meetings of the State Board of Pilot Commissioners and was appointed to their Regulations Subcommittee as a public member. Noted Scott Merritt of the Foss Maritime Company, former Vice Chair of the HSC, “Joan exhibits everything thats right about government. She makes the “system” work by extracting a high level of performance from participants. Her leadership makes everyone be the best they can be. Through Joans efforts, the San Francisco Bay experiences a higher level of maritime safety which results in lower pollution and makes the SF Bay Region a safer, healthier and better place in which to live, work and enjoy recreation” Scott stated.
The US Coast Guard Marine Safety Office Group/Portland received a 2004 Legacy Award in recognition of their international leadership in preventing waste oil dumping. The dedicated men and women of MSO Portland have developed and led a multi-agency partnership that seeks evidence of this illegal yet widespread practice by vessels. MSO Portland is recognized both nationally and internationally for their leadership on this issue.
In partnership with the Washington Department of Ecology, US EPA, and the US Department of Justice, MSO Portland developed training workshops and videos, and has been invited to provide training in Australia, Europe, and throughout the US on how to investigate and prosecute waste oil dumping.
Because the MSO Portland team has taken an aggressive and comprehensive approach to investigating and prosecuting waste oil dumping, more than a dozen cases have been prosecuted, resulting in millions of dollars in penalties, jail time for offenders, and millions of dollars for environmental restoration projects in Oregon, Washington, and California as a result of plea agreements and settlements. More importantly, thousands of tons of waste oil have been kept out of the worlds oceans, thanks to the team at the Marine Safety Office in Portland.
The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) Trade Shipping Companies – ConocoPhillips Marine/Polar Tankers, Inc; SeaRiver Maritime, Inc.; Tesoro Maritime/Seabulk Tankers; and the Alaska Tanker Company, LLC received Legacy Awards in honor of their exceptional spill prevention efforts in 2003.
Together, the TAPS trade shippers moved approximately 330 million barrels of Alaska North Slope crude oil from the Valdez Marine Terminal to various refineries on the West Coast without spilling a drop of oil into Alaskan waters. Nor did they have any spills into the waters of British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, or Hawaii, although transporting that amount of crude oil required approximately 452 tanker loads of product.
John Devens, Executive Director of the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens Advisory Council, who nominated the TAPS Trade Shippers, noted that “2003 was the first year since tankers began transporting oil from Valdez without a single spill to Alaskan waters; therefore, we view a spill-free year as a significant milestone.” These operators have proven that overall, successful spill prevention can be attributed to “continued vigilance and a commitment to transport oil through our waters as safely as possible” as Mr. Devens points out.
The Regional Citizens Advisory Council of Prince William Sound, Alaska received a 2003 Legacy Award for its leadership of the Ice Detection Radar Project used to protect oil tankers transiting the Sound. The Regional Citizens Advisory Council (RCAC) received two nominations for this project, from both the US Coast Guard Marine Safety Office in Valdez, Alaska and the Alaska Tanker Company. Calving ice from the Columbia Glacier in upper Prince William Sound has been breaking off at an increasing rate, releasing icebergs into the shipping lanes approaching Valdez. These debris-laden, low-visibility icebergs pose an extreme all-season hazard for the crude oil tankers carrying approximately a million barrels of oil a day through Prince William Sound. Ice was a causal factor in the massive Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989 and in 1994 caused over $1 million in damage to the hull of the unloaded oil tanker Overseas Ohio. The RCAC spearheaded efforts to address the risks posed by icebergs in Prince William Sound by fostering cooperation among such diverse groups as federal, state, local, and tribal governments, the military, academic and citizens groups, and industry. They secured in-kind donations such as labor, vehicles, helicopter transport, tanker transport of the radar tower, and waivers of dockage, pilotage, and long shore fees. The RCAC also used a substantial portion of their own funding to initiate this project. NOAA, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, and Oil Spill Recovery Institute also contributed significant funds, and the US Coast Guard donated the radar that would be used. Alyeska/SERVS provided the installation site on Reef Island, as well as the power needed to operate the radar and the microwave link to transmit the signal back to the Coast Guard. Alyeska and the Coast Guard provided radar expertise to ensure that the system worked properly. The Ice Radar became operational in December 2002; the signal is transmitted from Reef Island to both the SERVS Duty Office and the Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Center in Valdez where it is integrated into their vessel traffic monitoring system. Additionally, a data playback unit at the Prince William Sound Community College will be used for system verification exercises and training of watch-standers. The Ice Radar is already more than proving its worth by improving safety and preventing accidents. During the early morning hours of March 4, 2003, the ice radar showed a heavy concentration of ice in the shipping lanes. The Coast Guard closed the waterway and two oil-laden tankers were held at the port until the ice cleared, averting a potentially hazardous situation. A tugboat skipper later confirmed that the shipping lanes were wall-to-wall ice. John Devens, Executive Director of the Prince William Sound RCAC notes, "We're greatly honored to receive this award. The success of our Ice radar project illustrates once again what can be achieved when all the stakeholders in Prince William Sound -- citizens, regulators and industry -- cooperate for the common good."
Titan Maritime, LLC, will receive a 2003 Legacy Award for their leadership of the team involved in spill response and recovery of oil leaking from the sunken vessel S/S JACOB LUCKENBACH, near the Gulf of the Farallons National Marine Sanctuary off the central California coast. The S/S JACOB LUCKENBACH sank in 1953 approximately 17miles southwest of the Golden Gate Bridge, in 175 feet of water. It was only last winter, however, that officials identified the wreck as the source of “mystery oil spills” responsible for the deaths of thousands of sea birds over the last two decades. The project to remove oil from the tanks and interior spaces of the broken hull was led by Titan Maritime,LLC, which assembled a private and public-sector team that included American Marine, Clean Bay, Crowley Marine Services, Global Diving and Salvage, the National Response Corporation, PCCI Marine and Environmental Engineering, Divecon, West Coast Seaworks, Sound Hydrographic Services, Universal Services, the US Coast Guard Marine Safety Office in San Francisco, NOAA, the California Office of Spill Prevention and Response, and the California State Lands Commission. This team developed new and innovative equipment, strategies, techniques, and procedures to locate and access oil tanks, attach pumps, heat exchangers and other oil removal equipment, heat and mix the oil inside a tank, and eventually pump that oil to a surface barge. Significant innovations were numerous, including: Computer modeling of the wreck to aid visualization and record-keeping; acoustic navigation and a 6-point mooring system to precisely place the surface barge over the wreck; and system designs that allowed tools, heat exchangers, and pumps to be installed and removed with minimal risk of oil release. Nevertheless, open-water skimmers were on location during all dive work in case a spill occurred. After four months of continuous, strenuous, demanding, difficult, and sometimes dangerous work, no serious injuries had occurred, intermittent oil releases from the wreck were cleaned up, important technical and mechanical developments were made that will contribute to similar efforts worldwide, over 100,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil was successfully removed from the S/S JACOB LUCKENBACH, and countless sea birds and other sensitive wildlife will be protected from exposure to oil spills.
Sause Brothers Ocean Towing Company will receive a 2003 Legacy Award for their innovative commitment of resources to preventing oil spills. Sause Brothers initiated a program to build six new ocean-going tugs designed to reduce noise, improve ventilation, control engine room heat, and increase vessel stability in order to improve crew conditions and endurance, thus helping to prevent accidents caused by fatigue. In addition, Sause Brothers maintains a US Coast Guard certified training center for vessel and office personnel that includes a landmark module addressing crew alertness factors such as Circadian rhythms, diet, nutrition, exercise, and sleep/rest. Sause Brothers is also building state-of-the-art double hull tank barges, two of which will be in service this year. All six new barges will be constructed well in advance of federal requirements under OPA-90. Sause Brothers has implemented an internal Safety Management System and is certified as complying with the International Safety Management Code, ISO 9000, and the American Waterways Operators Responsible Carrier Program. In 2002 Sause Brothers distinguished itself and proved the effectiveness of its oil spill prevention initiatives by not having a single oil spill of any size while transporting 20 million barrels of petroleum products throughout the Pacific Region.
Margot Brown of Alameda, California will receive a 2003 Legacy Award for her leadership as a member of the San Francisco Bay Region Harbor Safety Committee, where she has helped develop tug escort standards for laden oil tankers and reduced shipping hazards associated with recreational boating. Margot Brown has represented the recreational boating community on the Harbor Safety Committee since its inception in 1991, bringing to that position experience on numerous recreational boating association boards, including eight years as executive director of the National Boating Federation. During her 12 years on the Harbor Safety Committee, Margot was one of three persons charged with the complex and politically-charged task of setting tug escort requirements for tank vessels on San Francisco Bay. After months of difficult meetings, the Committee reached consensus on recommendations that have now been promulgated as state regulations. Margot also chairs the Prevention Through People Workgroup of the Harbor Safety Committee, which is a group of diverse maritime professionals with varying backgrounds and opinions. Under Margots management-by-consensus style, the Workgroups products have been uniformly excellent. These include:
Margots publications have been distributed within California by the tens of thousands and the demand is unceasing. The other four California Harbor Safety Committees are ramping up similar efforts. Other states, such as Washington and Florida, have requested sets of guides to use as templates for their own programs. Her efforts have undoubtedly lowered the risk of vessel casualties and resultant oil spills in California and nationwide.
- The guide titled Mariners, Do you Speak Channel 14? assists small craft operators in understanding Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) communications in order to make better-informed navigational decisions.
- Your Guide to Recreational Vessel Marine Radio Communications for San Francisco Bay discusses how to use marine radios and the types of communications that are assigned to Channels 13, 14 and 16 on San Francisco Bay.
- Where the Heck is Collinsville? A guide to marine geography and facility names in the San Francisco Bay Area provides a detailed map indicating the names of numerous reference points around San Francisco Bay and is written in the vernacular heard over a marine radio. The intent is to help small craft operators to physically orient the locations being discussed over a marine radio in order to determine if any navigational precautions are necessary.
- Sharing the Bay will be the first endeavor by any Harbor Safety Committee to prepare a small craft educational video. This undertaking is being made possible through the voluntary donations of time and resources by individuals and organizations which constitute a cross section of the local maritime community. Among its many topics, the video will cover navigational channels, maneuvering limitations of large vessels, Rule 9, VTS, weather and use of marine radios. It is scheduled to be released for the 2004 boating season.
Kim Beasley is the General Manager of the Clean Islands Council, Hawaiis spill response cooperative. Recognizing the value of effective early response efforts, Mr. Beasley worked with the resort/hotel industry on Maui to develop a “Hotel Pack” of response equipment and to train hotel staff in its use. Their goal was to reduce oil spill impacts on hotel properties and guests, thus reducing the overall costs of a spill event. Mr. Beasley's efforts have significantly increased the oil spill awareness in the Maui hotel industry, given the hotels the basic tools needed to launch an effective initial response, and provided the potentially affected parties with the information they need to better protect themselves and their guests from the consequences of an oil release. Mr. Beasley plans to extend the program to the hotel industry on the other Hawaiian Islands. Mr. Beasley took initiative beyond his job requirements with the CIC to develop this project. The Task Force views this as an innovative project which both improves spill response and includes a public education element; in addition, the project is transferable to other member jurisdictions.
This award was made for Mr. McMahons leadership of the Washington State Maritime Commission, later the Washington State Maritime Cooperative (WSMC). Representing the towing industry, he served as president of WSMC for seven years until his recent resignation. As Chair of the Commission, which was established by the Washington Legislature, he established its administrative structure and guided its transition into a private-sector non-profit cooperative. Besides setting up an effective administration and meeting response requirements, he has implemented educational programs for the vessel operators covered by WSMC and established a mutual aid agreement with Burrard Clean, the spill response cooperative in BC. In addition to his successful leadership of WSMC, Jerry has represented the Pacific Region tug/towing industry on numerous advisory committees for both our member states and the Task Force. He also co-chairs the American Waterways Operators/US Coast Guard Quality Steering Committee, Pacific Region. In all these roles, Jerry McMahon has contributed to improving oil spill prevention, preparedness, and response, thereby improving environmental protection.
As president of Clean Bay Inc., Steve Ricks has spearheaded dramatic improvements in the regions oil spill response and clean up capabilities. Under his leadership, the nonprofit Clean Bay has doubled its resources for both deep- and shallow-water clean up for tankers, non-tank vessels and marine facilities since 1990. Mr. Ricks collaborated on efforts to develop the State of California Unified Oil Spill Control Course to train spill responders. Since 1996, this successful public-private partnership has taught more than 200 responders about equipment deployment techniques, safety and organizational command systems. Through his work on the San Francisco Bay and Delta Area Committees, Mr. Ricks has played a strong leadership role in developing and field-testing response strategies for environmentally sensitive sites in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a member of Californias Oil Spill Technical Advisory Committee, he provides a positive common sense approach to contingency planning, ship-to-ship oil transfers and regulations effecting oil spill response organizations. For more than a decade, Mr. Ricks has been a driving force in advancing spill prevention and response capabilities to protect the environment.
Within our area of interest, SeaRiver Maritime operates ocean-going tankers in the TAPS trade, which brings Alaskan crude oil to West Coast refineries. Of the seven tankers that SeaRiver Maritime operates on the West Coast, two are new double hull tankers, four are double bottom tankers, and one is a single hull tanker. SeaRiver Maritime consistently exceeds the US Coast Guards Critical Area Inspection program requirements, and places great emphasis on the professionalism of its people. SeaRiver Maritime has invested $1.7 million in employee training and drills, conducted root cause analysis risk assessments, and uses a rigorous vetting process that focuses on both vessels and terminals. SeaRiver Maritimes Safety Management System satisfies the mandatory International Safety Management Code and also meets or exceeds several other voluntary quality standards including the ISO 9000 standards. In both 1999 and 2001 the Washington Department of Ecology certified that SeaRiver had met criteria for its ECOPRO award, which requires voluntarily meeting a level of operation that exceeds state and federal standards and emphasizes reducing accidents caused by human error. SeaRiver Maritimes 2001 data shows that their approach has been successful. SeaRiver handled 196.4 million barrels of product with less than 11 gallons lost, and had no operating casualties in 2001. SeaRiver Maritime has exhibited a commitment to oil spill prevention that translates into environmental protection for the West Coast of both the US and Canada and the Oil Spill Task Force is pleased to honor that commitment. Sea-River has also been awarded the US Coast Guards 2002 William M. Benkert Award (gold level) for environmental excellence.
The US Coast Guards 1999-2000 Port Access Route Study for the Strait of Juan De Fuca recommended that a Special Operating Area be established in the vicinity of Turn Point, where Boundary Pass meets Haro Strait in order to prevent collisions and power groundings of deep draft vessels. Cooperation between the British Columbia Coast Pilots, the Canadian Coast Guard, and the US Coast Guard resulted in the Turn Point Standard of Care, effective in June 2001. The Standard of Care (SOC) established criteria by which vessels would meet at Turn Point as well as a minimum distance that vessels would stay offshore. A measuring and monitoring system was created to evaluate the effectiveness of the Standard of Care; as of 4/1/02, there has been 99.9% compliance with the minimum distance recommendation. In addition, the goodwill generated in developing this standard of care has resulted in improved communication across borders and across professions, as well as cooperative projects to educate small vessel operators and recreational boaters in the area. This type of transboundary cooperation and coordination epitomizes the goals of the Pacific States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force.
Tesoro Alaska Company has established a record of successful, collaborative efforts to reduce the likelihood of oil spills and related environmental impacts. These include voluntary application of state-of-the-art technologies; engagement in the communities around their operations; and a willingness to seek constructive solutions in cooperation with all players. Tesoro undertook a long-term charter for a new OPA-90 double-hull tank vessel to operate on the West Coast including Alaska and Hawaii, and has recently signed another charter agreement for a second OPA-90 double hull tanker to operate in those same areas. This commitment provides a second layer of protection in the harsh operating environment of these vessels especially the Pacific Northwest and the Gulf of Alaska, and has been implemented before actually required by law. Cook Inlet provides a unique challenge to shipping operations including occasional ice conditions, currents exceeding 6 knots, and a 30 foot tidal range. In the face of these challenges, Tesoro upgraded the mooring system at their Kenai Pipe Line Facility on Cook Inlet to provide an immediate update to facility and vessel operators of line tensions that could develop into potential problems. Tesoro also developed steps to safely operate vessels in Cook Inlet during winter periods with extreme ice conditions; these prevention measures have been accepted by local marine pilots and serve as an example to other area shippers. Tesoro Alaska Company also took the lead in development of the Geographic Response Strategies (GRS) in Alaska. Tesoro has also been proactive in its involvement with the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council (CIRCAC), providing vessel and facility tours, conducting training, and allowing for their participation in the company's Spill Management Team.
Clean Seas, formed in 1970, was the first fully manned and funded oil spill cooperative in the US. Many industry oil spill cooperatives have been modeled after Clean Seas. During the last decade, Clean Seas has been instrumental in improving oil spill response technology and systems. Some of their innovations and initiatives include:
- The concept of a "Fisherman's Oil Spill Response Team," developed in 1990, which has proven to be an effective use of resources already available in most western ports;
- Clean Seas designed and built the first mobile oiled wildlife cleaning trailer, and donated it to the state spill response agency;
- Clean Seas designed and built a fast recovery vessel with built-in skimming systems; similar systems have since been adopted by other cooperatives;
- Clean Seas developed an extensive spill response training and drill program involving more than 1500 people each year;
- Clean Seas negotiated with the US Coast Guard (USCG) on behalf of APICOM (Association of Petroleum Industry Cooperative Managers) to develop a "basic ordering agreement" that allows the USCG to hire coops to respond to spills when the responsible party is either unknown or unable to mount an adequate response.
Darryle Waldron is General Manager of Clean Seas, LLC and has provided the leadership for these important initiatives.
Island Tug and Barge Ltd. (ITB) is the major provider of petroleum products transportation on the West Coast of British Columbia, and operates in the US from SE Alaska to Oregon. Carrying gasoline, diesel fuel, aviation fuel, and deck cargo, ITB tugs and barges call at major ports as well as small coastal BC communities. ITB's policies, operating and maintenance procedures, training programs, and equipment are setting a high standard for the marine transportation industry. Key achievements in spill prevention and response preparedness include:
Captain Bob Shields serves as President of Island Tug and Barge, Ltd., Captain Jack Davies is the Vice President, and Steve Pollock serves as General Manager.
- As a voluntary step, ITB was issued an International Safety Management (ISM) Document of Compliance by Lloyds Register in March of this year. They also received Safety Management Certificates for the five tugs and barges put forward for certification. Also in March, ITB was issued an ISO 9002 Certificate of Approval by the Lloyds Register Quality Assurance program.
- ITB took delivery in 1998 of a double-hulled, coastal, light fuel products barge, the first of its type in Canada and the first equipped with vapor recovery. A double-hulled bunkering barge was also scheduled for delivery in June 2001.
- Although not required by regulations to do so, all ITB tow boats under 400 GRT have Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plans.
- ITB covers the internal exercises identified by the US Coast Guard's Preparedness for Response Exercise Program each year, rather than on a three-year cycle as recommended.
- All ITB barges carry a minimum of 300 feet of inshore containment boom and 1000 feet for barges engaged in trans-border service.
- In September of 2000, ITB was granted Associate Membership status in the Voluntary Best Achievable Protection program run by the Washington Department of Ecology for tank barges.
- ITB is converting its barges to vapor recovery closed loading systems with overfill protection. ITB tugs are equipped with integrated computer charting and differential GPS and ECDIS. ITB tugs are also equipped with satellite stations for global communication and tracking.
The Marine Facilities Division (MFD) of the California State Lands Commission (CSLC) received a 2001 Legacy Award for developing a no-cost, voluntary, Safety Assessment of Management Systems (SAMS) for the marine industry. SAMS was first developed in 1997 as a joint industry project intended to provide a link between research on human and organizational factors and a practical field application in safety and environmental protection. MFD recognized a need not only to regulate and strictly enforce rules, but also to reach out and provide a useful tool that would assist industry customers in meeting oil spill prevention objectives. The following organizations made up the initial Joint Industry Project (JIP) team that created SAMS: the American Bureau of Shipping; the California State Lands Commission; Chevron Petroleum Technology Company; the National Energy Board of Canada; Texaco, Inc.; the United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive; the US Minerals Management Service; and Paragon Engineering. Nine safety areas are targeted by the assessment, including management and organizational issues, hazards analysis, management of change, operating procedures, safe work practices, training and selection, mechanical integrity, emergency response, and investigation and audit. This innovative partnership between government and the regulated industry exceeds regulatory requirements and works mutually toward a higher level of environmental excellence.
The US Coast Guard Marine Safety Office Puget Sound and Transport Canada Marine Safety Vancouver, with the direct assistance of the Canadian Coast Guard Marine Communications and Traffic Services, have harmonized their vessel movement control efforts to unprecedented levels. For example, the Cooperative Vessel Traffic Service (CVTS) Disabled Participating Vessel Matrix marked an important transition from independent program decisions by these various agencies into an integrated unified and effective risk assessment approach for all organizations. The CVTS Disabled Participating Vessel Matrix is applied to vessels with reduced capabilities operating in the shared US/Canadian area of responsibility; it provides clear direction when an assist tug is required to mitigate risks associated with disabled vessels. The complex Cooperative Vessel Traffic Service (CVTS) includes Tofino Traffic, Victoria Traffic, Vancouver Traffic, and Seattle Traffic which manages commercial traffic for the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Haro Strait, the Strait of Georgia and the Puget Sound region. There have been several meetings with key personnel from both the US and Canadian agencies to improve communication during multi-national responses, e.g., vessel adrift/propulsion problems in joint US/Canadian waters. In addition there has been effective harmonization of US and Canadian operational safety measures, such as requiring an additional navigation officer in restricted visibility and inoperative navigation safety equipment, a stand-by tug while a deep draft vessel conducts maintenance at anchor, etc. Marine Safety Office Puget Sound personnel conducted professional exchanges with Transport Canada Office of Marine Safety inspectors to improve understanding of each others inspection procedures and improve regional Port State Control cooperation and enforcement. The agencies have also unified vessel enforcement decisions. As a result of these preventive measures, there has been measurable improvement in response time for vessel propulsion or mechanical failures. CAPT Michael Moore is the US Coast Guard Captain of the Port for Puget Sound; Yvette Myers heads the Canadian Coast Guard's Marine Programs, and CAPT John Yeung represents Transport Canada, Marine Safety, for this project.
To Top of Page...
The Prince William Sound Regional Citizens Advisory Councils Community Impacts Planning Project Team, guided by their Scientific Advisory Committee, consists of technical experts and representatives of communities impacted by the Exxon Valdez oil spill. In 2000 the Team published “Coping with Technological Disasters, A User Friendly Guidebook.” This work represented years of socioeconomic research and public outreach in efforts to understand and mitigate the mental health impacts of an oil spill Information, resources, and proven programs are presented in the guidebook for use by local governments, civic groups, oil spill responders, mental health organizations, and individuals. Since its release, the Guidebook has been requested by communities, organizations, and companies throughout Alaska, the United States and internationally, and has been praised by community leaders, mental health professionals, and responders as an excellent reference and resource.
CAPT Glenzer has served as President of the Board of Directors for the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council (CIRCAC) since its inception in 1990. CAPT Glenzer has been a willing and effective ambassador for CIRCAC, and has tirelessly carried the message that prevention needs to be the primary focus of oil spill planning. His unflagging commitment to the goals of CIRCAC has resulted in an oil spill prevention and response system for Cook Inlet that is much improved since 1990.
Martyn Green is held in high esteem by people in the response industry in both the US and Canada. Martyn was one of the original members of the group of oil spill cleanup organization managers know today as the Association of Petroleum Industry Cooperative Managers (APICOM); his insight, dedication, resourcefulness and leadership helped APICOM to become an internationally recognized organization. Martyn brought Burrard Clean resources into the US on numerous occasions, including the ARCO Anchorage tanker spill in 1985, the barge Nestucca in 1988, Exxon Valdez in 1989, and the Tenyo Maru in 1991. As OPA 90 was implemented, Martyn joined the Washington State Maritime Cooperative in providing coverage for US or Canadian non-tank vessels in the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Martyn has provided both Canada and the US with a wealth of experience, knowledge, and assistance over the last 25 years.
The International Bird Rescue and Research Center (IBRRC) has been in existence for approximately 20 years; during that time, IBRRC staff have responded to essentially every major West Cost spill involving wildlife, as well as spills in the Pacific Island, Gulf of Mexico, Australia, South Africa, and Europe. IBRRC has worked continually to improve the care that oiled birds receive; they have published widely, have hosted several "Effects of Oil on Wildlife" meetings, and supported research efforts.
Roland Miller is recognized for his leadership, dedication, cooperation, and tireless efforts to improve spill response readiness and training in the Pacific Northwest. During his decade of service at the Clean Sound Cooperative he has been largely responsible for the significant increase, improvement, and strategic deployment of spill response equipment throughout Puget Sound. Rolands greatest contributions to the response community, however, involve his on-going work with the Northwest Area Committee. Over the years, he has been actively involved in countless committees, workgroups, exercises and projects, many of which he chaired, co-chaired, or steered to success. In addition, Roland worked with another Legacy 2000 Award winner, Martyn Green, to establish a mutual aid agreement between the Washington and British Columbia response cooperatives, addressing numerous US/Canada Transboundary issues in the process. A great deal of the government/industry teamwork enjoyed today in the Pacific Northwest can be directly attributed to Rolands cooperative attitude, leadership, experience and effort.
Californias Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) is administered by the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicines Wildlife Health Center, notably Dr. Jonna Mazet, Program Director, Wildlife Veterinarians Kirsten Gilardi, Scott Newman, Mike Ziccardi, and Center Manager, Kathy Collins. Twenty other agencies, institutions, and organizations are part of the OWCN, including three universities, leading aquaria and ocean parks, marine mammal stranding groups, wildlife rehabilitators, and industry members who utilize OWCNs services. The OWCN is the central focus of Californias readiness program for oiled wildlife response, and has dealt with essentially every spill in California involving wildlife since 1995. The OWCN has developed and administers a major competitive grants program to study the effects of oil on wildlife and improvements in oiled wildlife care.
Bill Park began his environmental protection career by forming the first Coast Guard Strike Team in 1972. After his Coast Guard career, Bill Park was one of the founders of the Petroleum Industry Response Organization, the predecessor of the Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC). His vision, industry experience, and technical skill were instrumental in the establishment, guidance, and development of MSRC. As Vice President of the Western Region, Bill participated in all facets of response planning and implementing oil spill prevention and preparedness in the states of Washington, Oregon and California. He retired from MSRC in May of 1998 and on October 22, 1998, the OSRV Washington Responder was re-named the “W. C. PARK RESPONDER” in recognition of his many years of service to the oil spill response industry and to the protection of the marine environment. Bill Park passed away on March 9, 1999.
The Task Force gave a Legacy 2000 Award to Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE) in recognition of their commitment to construct two new ORCA class cargo vessels that incorporate marine pollution prevention design features. TOTE operates up to three Ro/Ro (roll on, roll off) vessels as week, year-round, in the Tacoma to Anchorage trade. Their vessels and crews must typically endure sever winter storms, ice-choked channels and harbors, and a shallow draft inlet. The nature of their liner cargo requires them to accomplish their transits at speeds significantly above most vessel operators. TOTEs decision to build two new vessels with greater environmental features and responsiveness standards, none of which are required by regulations, is consistent with the spirit of the Legacy 2000 Award. The two new vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2002. Honoring the ORCA Class design emphasizes the Task Forces focus on reducing oil spills and marine pollution from non-tank vessels.
The Marine Safety Office (MSO) San Francisco has been proactive in implementing its environmental protection mandate. In October, 1998 the MSO worked with the State of Californias Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) to respond to an oil spill first sighted a along the southern approach to San Francisco Bay. Their subsequent actions were noteworthy. They quickly mounted a response that limited shoreline impacts and reduced wildlife casualties. The MSOs aggressive investigation into the source of the spill identified the culprit as the T/S Command. After locating the Command at sea, the MSO coordinated a boarding off Mexico, which marked the first time that a ship has ever been intercepted on the high seas for suspicion of pollution charges. An MSO-led investigative team met the ship in Panama and confirmed suspicions that the Command was the source of the spill. The MSOs evidence enabled US attorneys to charge the vessel master, chief engineer, owner and operator with felony charges of negligent discharge of oil, violating the Endangered Species and National Marine Sanctuaries Acts and making false statements. The charged parties pleaded guilty and paid $9.4 million in criminal and civil fines. The MSO has also been a strong supporter of the San Francisco Bay Harbor Safety Committee and has an outstanding track record of coordination with both OSPR and the Marine Facility Division of California State Lands.
To Top of Page...
The Alyeska Pipeline Service Company Ship Escort Response Vessel System (SERVS), which operates in Prince William Sound, received a 1999 Legacy Award for their acquisition of two world class tractor tugs which are part of a complete oil spill prevention system developed for Prince William Sound.
This 1999 Legacy Award was given to honor ARCOs commitment to build three double-hull oil tankers known as the Millennium Class tankers. These tankers are designed specifically for trading on the West Coast. Not only does the design comply with OPA 90 requirements, but it also incorporates redundant operating systems which go well beyond federal or international requirements, thus setting a standard for future double-hull construction.
CAPT Sharpe provided key leadership for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) Vessel Traffic Management project, which became a model for the West Coast Offshore Vessel Traffic Risk Management project which the Pacific States/BC Oil Spill Task Force is sponsoring.
The Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council (CIRCAC) was created in 1990 pursuant to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Since that time, CIRCAC has consistently prioritized prevention measures and worked with industry to create a safe oil transportation system in Cook Inlet.
Under their spill prevention goal, the The Carquinez Straits in the San Francisco Bay area are subject to high currents, which have caused tank vessels and barges to break their moorings, thus presenting significant oil spill risks. The Marine Facilities Division of the California State Lands Commission took initiative to address this issue and formed the High Velocity Current Study Group (HVCSG) to evaluate causes and recommend non-regulatory solutions. Dave Pearce, Marine Terminal Supervisor, Exxon Company USA, Benicia California refinery, worked with the participating companies to develop unanimous agreements to implement voluntary measures which ensure tank vessel mooring configurations that are customized to real-time environmental, vessel, and structural conditions.
Mr. Stephens has been a member of the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens Advisory Council (RCAC) for nine years and served on numerous subcommittees during that time. His nomination stated that "Stan believes, advocates and stresses that oil spill prevention is the best and possibly the only chance that Prince William Sound has to survive". Stans legacy to Prince William Sound exemplifies the meaning of this award.
David Usher is president and CEO of Marine Pollution Control; co-founder and current president of the Spill Control Association of America; co-founder and current general chairman of the International Spill Control Organization; co-founder and Director of the Marine Response Alliance, and current Vice-Chairman of the ASTMs Committee F-20 on Hazardous Substances and Oil Spill Response. While Mr. Ushers contributions have been primarily in the field of spill response, his focus on development and placement of high-capacity pumping systems which provide a means of removing oil - carried either as fuel or cargo – has also contributed to spill prevention. Mr. Usher has been working since the 1970s to address a lack of emergency off-loading capability in the United States and has placed a number of systems on the West Coast.
To Top of Page...