STANDING RRT CHAIRPERSONS: Mr. Gerald Heston (Alternate), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region III; CAPT Edward Gibbons, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) District 5, and David Ormes (Alternate), USCG District 5
Convene, Introductions, and Co-Chairs Opening Remarks
Welcome to Virginia – Greg Britt, Division Director, Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM)
Capabilities of York County Training Center – Tom Jordan, VDEM
RRT III Coordinator’s Report – Ms. Linda Baines, USCG
BOEM Wind Farm Permits – Frank Wright, Office of Renewable Energy, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)
EPA SPCC Update and Requirements for Wind Farms – Mark Howard, EPA OEM-RPDD
NOAA Trajectory Analysis for Cuba Drilling – Ed Levine, NOAA
Sector Delaware Bay FOSC Report – 1st Quarter January 2012
Sector Baltimore FOSC Report – 1st Quarter January 2012
Sector North Carolina FOSC Report – 1st Quarter January 2012
MSU Pittsburgh FOSC Report – 1st Quarter January 2012
Subsea Dispersant Monitoring and Assessment Interim Guidance – Draft – September 27, 2011
National Response System “Are You Ready?” Brochure
The RRT Co-Chairs, Gerald Heston - Alternate (EPA) and CAPT Edward Gibbons made opening remarks. Mr. Heston welcomed everyone and commented on the attendance increase for this meeting. CAPT Gibbons also welcomed everyone and said that based on his observations and attendance at the NRT/RRT Co-Chairs Meeting, Region III is well ahead of the curve for responsiveness in the region. CAPT Gibbons thanked everyone for the organization, great training and topic discussions this week.
Everyone was asked to introduce themselves and state their agency/affiliation.
WELCOME TO VIRGINIA
Gregory Britt, VDEM welcomed everyone to Williamsburg, Virginia.
Capabilities of York County Training Center – Tom Jordan, VDEM
This presentation is provided in its entirety on the RRT Region III website at: http://www.rrt3.nrt.org. For additional information or if you have any other questions on this topic, please contact Tom Jordan (Tom.Jordan@vdem.virginia.gov; 804-380-8492).
Mr. Jordan provided the membership with an overview on the Public/Private partnership for the York County Hazardous Materials/CBRNE Training Center for the Commonwealth. This is a very robust response and training program for the state. Beginning in 1996, the state put in its code the need to coordinate and enhance/prepare our local communities and other agencies and private partnerships with training, exercise, and capabilities for incident response. The facility broke ground in January 2010 and is located on an 8-acre site just outside of Williamsburg, VA in York County. Today, the facility is 80% completed. Responsible for the response mechanism and the training of the responders.
The state conducted a needs analysis to determine the types of responses in the state and what its response and training needs are (see figure at right). Most responders being trained have a fire background and don’t have experience with other response situations (e.g., industry, pipeline, marine, etc.). Using this facility, they are able to expose trainees to the other situations (oil refineries, marine vessels) through the public/private partnerships. The training facility provides both indoor and outdoor classrooms, as well as practical skills work areas including simulators of highway rolling containers, intermodal containers, rail emergencies, leaks (how to control and decon), and compressed gases. A closed circuit TV system allows the facility to record the students’ response actions and play back to review their actions.
RRT III COORDINATOR’S REPORT
Linda Baines, USCG D5, welcomed and thanked all speakers and participants of the meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday with their many interesting presentations and training opportunities; we appreciate everyone’s participation. Ms. Baines reported the following:
Eastern Shore Dispersant Workshop – February 16, 2012 at the Marine Consortium in Wallops Island, VA
The RRT and Region III website’s web address is; http://www.rrt3.nrt.org/. The Regional Contingency Plan (RCP) Homepage website address is located at: http://www.rrt3-rcp.nrt.org/.
Region I’s next RRT meeting is scheduled for April 10-12, 2012 – location to be determined.
Region II’s next RRT meeting is scheduled for March 20-21, 2012 at EPA’s Environmental Response Training Center, Edison NJ.
The CRRT’s next meeting is scheduled for May 8-10, 2012 in St. Thomas, USVI.
RRT IV next meeting is scheduled for February 14-16, 2012 at the IP CASINO RESORT SPA in Biloxi, MI.
NRT/RRT Co-ChairsMeeting – May 1-3, 2012 – location to be determined
RRT VI next meeting has not been scheduled (location and time to be determined).
The 11th International Effects of Oiled Wildlife Conference, January 24-28, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. For more information or to submit an abstract for this conference, go to http://www.eow2012.org.
RRT III’s next meeting is scheduled for May 15-17, 2012 at the Grand Hotel in Ocean City, Maryland. Additional information will be provided.
Welcome to our newest member, Mr. Chris Murray, serving as the new DoD representative to Region III as the Navy NOSC-R for the North and Mid-Atlantic Region.
Recent losses due to retirement of several of our long-term RRT III members:
Micky Mulvenna – US Army Corps of Engineers
Mike Chezik – US DOI
Marjorie Easton – US EPA
Jack Downie – US EPA
Please provide your comments for the National Response Team’s (NRT) SubSea Dispersant Monitoring and Assessment Interim Guidance document by January 31, 2012. The NRT wants all responses by March 2012.
If you have topics or suggestions for training or presentations please contact Linda Marzulli, EPA, at email@example.com, or Linda Baines, USCG, at Linda.H.Baines@uscg.mil.
PRESENTATION: BOEM Wind Farm Permits – Jean Thurston, Office of Renewable Energy, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)
For additional information or if you have any other questions on this topic, please contact Jean Thurston (firstname.lastname@example.org; 703-787-1768).
Ms. Thurston provided the membership with an overview of the organizational and regulatory changes since the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon Response. On October 1, 2011, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), formerly the Minerals Management Service (MMS), was replaced by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) as part of a major reorganization and how these agencies are involved with Wind Farm leases and management for energy development in the outer continental shelf under the Renewable Energy Projects from BOEM. She provided an overview of the application and review process to construction and full operation requirements for wind farms in the outer continental shelf as well as the direct impacts to Region III.
In February 2011 Secretary Salazar announced the Mid-Atlantic Wind energy areas and launched the environmental assessment for NJ, MD, DE, and VA. She explained the details of the permitting and approval process as well as the public and agency involvement requirements throughout the process. The final Environmental Assessment is to be released in early 2012. There are several projects underway in Region III for wind farms:
Delaware - NRG Bluewater Wind (BWW) is the only entity to qualify to hold a lease (non-competitive lease).
Maryland – had 9 expressions of interest and a dozen comments in response to the request for information (RFI); this interest will result in a competitive lease process beginning in 2012.
Virginia – is working on navigation issues with input from the state, USCG, and other maritime interests. BOEM is currently planning a published call in 2012 after the completion of the regional environmental assessment. This will be a competitive lease sale.
The Biological data gathered as part of the environmental assessment and wind farm application process (avian studies, marine mammals, etc.) for the region will likely be available for use by RRT and other coastal marine spatial databases. For more information on these data sets, go to: http://www.boem.gov/Environmental-Stewardship/Environmental-Studies/Renewable-Energy/Renewable-Energy.aspx.
PRESENTATION: EPA SPCC Update and Requirements for Wind Farms – Mark Howard, EPA OEM-RPDD
This presentation is provided in its entirety on the RRT Region III website at: http://www.rrt3.nrt.org. For additional information or if you have any other questions on this topic, please contact Mark Howard (Howard.Markw@epa.gov; 202-564-1964).
Mr. Howard provided the membership with an overview of the Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) requirements for the establishment of Wind Farms in Region III and around the U.S. as well as how these farms will be an issue for response in Region III. He summarized the history of wind farms in the Region, the components of a wind farm, and the reasoning behind their regulation under the SPCC regulation. Wind farms have significant oil filled operational equipment for the support of the wind turbines. Additionally, there is necessary oil storage for the hydraulic systems, lubricating systems, gear boxes, machining coolant systems, heat transfer systems, etc. associated with their operation. Most wind farms have enough oil storage or oil filled equipment to require a self-certified SPCC plan.
There was discussion about what preventative measures that would be required for wind farms and navigation concerns pre- and post-hurricane incidents. This would also include bird strikes at off-shore facilities. This information, once put in place, must be incorporated into the area contingency plans.
Next, Mr. Howard provided the membership with an overview of the 2011 Virginia earthquake and the impact on the Above Ground Storage Tanks and the API requirements for seismic events (API 650; API 653) as well as the post-earthquake tank inspections and tank upgrades to reduce future impacts from seismic events.
PRESENTATION: NOAA Trajectory Analysis for Cuba Drilling – Ed Levine, NOAA SSC
This presentation is provided in its entirety on the RRT Region III website at: http://www.rrt3.nrt.org. For additional information or if you have any other questions on this topic, please contact Ed Levine (Ed.Levine@noaa.gov; 212-668-6428).
Assessing the potential threat to US East Coast and Gulf of Mexico shorelines from Deepwater drilling in the Florida Straits – Ed Levine presentation, NOAA ERD
Mr. Levine provided the membership with an overview on the status of the drilling efforts off of Cuba across the Florida Straits. The first Jaguey Prospect (site #1) is approximately 6,000 feet deep and is being operated by REPSOL on the north side of Cuba. The oil deposit is approximately 18,500 feet deep beneath the sea floor.
NOAA utilized their TAP trajectory model to run 200 likely spill scenarios to identify potential trajectories for a well blow out (an estimated 75,000 billion barrels per day for 90 days of medium crude oil), taking the loop current and the Gulf Stream into account. The highest risk for shoreline impacts is likely to be in Florida. The Gulf Stream tends to pull the pollution offshore into the stream.
Mr. Levine provided projections of sheen impacts versus dark oil. Shoreline impacts would be episodic and it will take an onshore wind to push the oil on to the shoreline. The statistical model of 200 runs is summarized (image above) to show the likely surface oiling based on the statistical weather conditions. Impacts to Region III will be minor and are likely to occur within 70-100 days of the initial release and will require little to no response to surface oiling. Since no drilling has been conducted to date, we do not know the oil characteristics of this oil field. REPSOL stated that they would give the US a sample once they break through and begin extraction.
STATE AND COMMONWEALTH REPORTS
Representative Gregory Britt, Virginia Department of Environmental Management (VADEM), reported the following:
Earthquake 2011 – Virginia Power has now restarted the two reactors on November 11, 2011 after undergoing 21,000 man-hours of inspection before reactivation.
Russell County (SW VA) – a retired trucker was moved from his site and called in an environmental clean-up company. During the clean-up, several home-made explosive devices were located on the site including some Cesium-238; the cleanup contractor contacted the state police and the FBI. Some of the explosives were removed illegally and sold at a flea market and have still not been recovered.
Chemical Suicides – the most recent event involved the consumption of aluminum phosphide (agricultural pesticide) pellets. The victim’s body began off-gassing phosgene gas at twice the OSHA legal limits. The hospital had to isolate and allow the victim to expire in place, and then cremated the body.
Representative Shawn Weimer, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ), reported the following:
A notice of intended action affecting aboveground storage tanks (AST) has been initiated by the City of Fairfax. The Virginia Facility & Aboveground Storage Tank Regulations (9VAC20-91) is currently open for revision.
The next full-scale PREP exercise will be an industry-led exercise with Colonial Pipeline this fall (2012).
Representative Kerry Leib, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) reported the following:
PADEP was not able to attend the September 2011 RRT III meeting due to flooding from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee
Pennsylvania got 73.4 inches of rain from these events in 2011. PADEP continues to focus efforts on the cleanup and the recovery/removal of items that have floated. Four or five fatalities resulted from drowning.
Aftermath of the storms in NE PA – the Susquehanna River was higher than it has been since 1972. Trying to site FEMA housing and to establish a sanitary sewer.
Marcellus Shale – there were no leaks or spills reported during any of the weather events in 2011 at any of the drilling sites. Things have settled down on the drilling front; now PADEP’s focus is on pipelines.
Representative Ellen Malenfant, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DE DNREC), had no incidents to report outside of what is listed in the DE DNREC handout.
Representative Ben Anderson, DE DNREC – Water Activities Board (WAB), reported on the following:
The Bluewater Windfarm cancelled their contract for the BOEM wind farm lease.
Hess Crown Landing allowed their FERC permits to expire due to economics.
August 18th – a green sea turtle came ashore to lay her eggs. It was the wrong time of year for egg laying and she was way out of her zone; DNREC had to relocate the eggs up the beach out of the tidal range. By October, the eggs were again removed to a university incubator and on December 6th the 8 eggs hatched at the university and were released the in North Carolina.
Representative Alan Williams of the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) was not present.
Representative Mike Dorsey, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP), reported the following:
WVDEP has emergency rules in place for oil and gas industry related to the Marcellus Shale.
WVDEP in conjunction with West Virginia University is conducting studies on air pollution (particulates and air emissions from well heads) and the runoff in the pits (toxicity, radioactivity, etc.) for oil and gas industry. Following the studies, additional legislation is expected to address these findings in the state’s future regulation of the oil and gas industry.
Recently, there has been additional earthquake activity in the areas where fracking is taking place. There is a suspected link between the fracking process and the additional earthquake activity.
District of Columbia
Representative Millicent West from the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (DC HSEMA) was not present.
Representative Sosina Tadesse for Yohance Fuller from the DC Department of the Environment (DDOE) reported the following:
Focus on energy – the DOE provided assistance with support for oil and Hazmat response. Their focus is on energy issues under ESF-12.
Energy Grants have been initiated and awarded to update the District’s energy assurance plan. They are currently planning an exercise on January 24, 2012 that will involve all District agency participation.
Completed updating the District Response Plan in December 2011.
The following sections describe agency reports presented at the Standing RRT Meeting.
Representative Ed Levine, NOAA SSC provided the following information on his NOAA and DOC activities since the last RRT meeting:
NOAA is updating the Aerial Observation Training Program.
NOAA is developing a lessons learned report following their participation during the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) response. The report should be out this Fall 2012.
NOAA is participating on two (2) API workgroups:
ARTES program relative to the DWH – conducting ARTES evaluations and how to do that process better through transparency and lessons learned;
In-situ burning (ISB) – compiling lessons learned on what went right and how do we make ISB a more feasible and reliable technology
Completing data review of British Petroleum SMART data on surface dispersants use. The report will be delivered to the FOSC in New Orleans at the end of the month (January 2012).
Participating in the Sector Philly PREP/AMSTEP exercise in April 2012.
Participating in the Remediation of Underwater Legacy Environmental Threats (RULET) program being developed and utilized in Region I and Region V; over 20,000 sunken vessels have been identified.
Mr. Levine is the NOAA representative on the NRT Subsea Dispersant Workgroup that is developing subsea dispersant injection and monitoring guidelines for the Regional Response Teams. Requesting comments to Kevin Boyd and the Spill Response Countermeasures workgroup. Will collate comments at NRT /RRT co-chairs meeting and final shortly after that.
Representative Frank Csulak, NOAA SSC provided the following information on his NOAA activities since the last RRT meeting:
The North Carolina Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) atlas was updated and finalized last September/October.
Participated in the North Carolina tabletop exercise in November 2011.
Attended the National Weather Service’s all-hazards workshop in Raleigh, NC November 2011.
SCAT training workshops will resume in Spring 2012 (1 day for executive, 3 day classes for SCAT team members; 5 day training for team leaders). The training courses have been updated and finalized.
Representative Valincia Darby, Department of Interior Region III, was not present.
Representative Bob Helverson, ATSDR Region III, reporting the following for ATSDR:
ATSDR is focusing on public health issues associated with the Marcellus Shale oil and gas extraction within the region.
They continue to address the public health science associated with the 2011 well blowout in Bradford County, PA.
Developed a cooperative agreement with the Virginia Department of Health in Richmond; ATSDR will be sponsoring a position within the department to assist with medical and public health identification and exposures.
Representative Richard Polley reported the following for FEMA:
FEMA has been very busy with nine (9) disaster declarations following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee since the last RRT III meeting. FEMA has disbursed more than $500 million.
On October 2011, the President signed Presidential Policy Directive/ PDD #8 – National Preparedness. This revision is a substantial change and focuses on core capabilities rather than Essential Support Services (ESFs) of the National Response Framework (NRF). The ESFs don’t go away, but the PDD#8 directs the development of an all-hazards plan by August 2012. Please contact Dick Polley for schedule if interested (Richard.Polley@dhs.gov or 215-931-5557).
Representative Maryann Toniazzo, GSA Mid-Atlantic Regional Office, was not present.
DoD U.S. Navy
Representative Chris Murray, Navy On-Scene Coordinator (NOSC) representative, reported the following for the US Navy:
Mr. Murray is the new CNRMA North and Mid-Atlantic NOSC representative. He is responsible from Maine to NC and out to 12 nautical miles off-shore; encompassing 45 naval installations. He is focusing on networking with RRTs and ACs on training and preparedness for their responders.
To reach Mr. Murray, contact him via email at email@example.com.
Representative Willem Helms was not present.
Representative Kurt Gernerd, US Forest Service, was not present.
DOT / PHMSA
Representative Tony Murray, PHMSA, was not present.
Representatives Mark Milicich and Robert Mooney, Protective Security Advisor (PSA) reported the following:
Conducting 10 different ground transportation resiliency studies with roads and bridges being the primary focus. These studies include the Port of Pittsburgh, Hampton Roads, and Port of Wilmington; the Colonial Pipeline Transportation (multi-state review); and food and agriculture transportation.
Participating in the Governor’s Conference in Williamsburg, VA (July 13-15, 2012).
Assisting in State of the Union planning later in Jan 2012.
Participating in the USCG Portstep exercise in Sector Delaware Bay.
Representative Steve Johnson was not present.
Representative Bob Brook was not present.
Representative Adam Hamrick, OSHA, was not present.
FOSC REPORTS (AREA COMMITTEE REPORTS):
The following sections describe FOSC reports addressed during the Standing RRT Meeting:
Region III IACP - Rich Fetzer conducted state breakout groups to review and update of the state information for the Region III IACP and presented Sub-Area plan guidelines for consideration. Based upon the Inland Area Committee's general agreement to the approach presented, a schedule to complete both the Region III IACP and all Sub-Area Plan updates (in draft as a minimum) is to be completed by September 2012
Marjorie Easton, EPA OSC and Jack Downie, EPA OSC retired in December 2011. They will be missed.
Sector Delaware Bay (Philadelphia Area Committee)
Representative LCDR Brad Kelly provided a complete list of incidents on a handout (refer to handout). In addition, the Sector will:
Serve as the lead agency in a government-led PREP exercise at the end of March 2012.
Sector Baltimore (Upper Chesapeake Bay Estuary Area Committee)
Representative LCDR Randy Brown provided his complete list of incidents on a handout. In summary, the Sector participated in:
Issues and clean up response related to Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee and the subsequent flooding along the Susquehanna River. Recovering totes and other floatables.
The President’s State of Union address planning is underway – the last 10 days of January will be very busy for Sector due to various conventions and other security events.
OPSAIL – War of 1812 commemoration event will be held in Baltimore and will be the key focus for the Sector for the next several months.
Several incident responses and activities since the last RRT meeting:
The leaching of oil from an old Chevron remediation site; approximately 500 gallons of oily water was released into the Patapsco River in Maryland.
Our next Area Committee Meeting will be held on 29 February, 2012, in Leonardtown at St. Marys County EOC.
Sector Hampton Roads (Mid-Atlantic Coastal Area Committee)
Representative LCDR Rob Gore for Capt. Ogle provided his complete list of incidents in a handout. In summary the Sector participated in the following:
Vessel that sank on November 14th at dock – may be an intentional sinking resulting in a discharge. The vessel is being raised; inspectors are conducting an investigation of the sinking.
Government initiated unannounced exercise (GIUE) will be conducted with John Settle with VA DEQ.
There will be a full-scale PREP exercise in September 2012 with Colonial Pipeline at the pipeline crossing on the James River in Surry County. Will be testing components of the new Geographic Response Plan (GRP) in the Sector Hampton Roads Area Committee Plan.
The next Sector Hampton Roads Area Committee Meeting is February 16, 2012 at the Marine Science Consortium Wallops Island, Virginia training facility.
Sector Buffalo – (Lake Erie Area Committee)
Representative LT Thomas Pequignot reported the following:
Currently conducting a rewrite of the GRP for the Western PA area and the other 5 areas in the Great Lakes; the next meeting on the rewrite will be February 3, 2012.
Industry-led PREP exercise will be held on April 24th in Buffalo, New York. A CANUS exercise will be conducted at the same time.
MSU Huntington (Ohio Valley)
Representative CDR Chris Palmer reported the following:
The Sector has experienced normal river heights during the hurricane season; there were no major casualties or spills. In general the MSU is seeing a general decline in the numbers of spills and quantities discharged.
Revisiting and finalizing the Inland Umbrella Plan that was developed for Regions III, IV, and V along the Ohio River.
Nearly complete with the tri-state GRP for the Port of Huntington.
On April 19, there will be a functional PREP exercise with GO-mar near Charleston WV. We will be working with our federal and state local partners to test that part of the new GRP.
CDR Palmer will be transferring to District 8 (New Orleans) offices to serve as Chief of prevention; his replacement will be CDR Lee Boone.
MSU Pittsburgh (Port of Pittsburgh Area Committee)
Representative CDR Richard Timme reported that the MSU participated in the following activities (see handout):
Re-initiation of GIUEs across the Sector. Thanks to Joe Albert (EPA SEE) for getting this program online.
The Sub-Area Contingency Plan is underway and is being reviewed by the OSC office. Thanks go out to Debbie Carlson, Joe Albert, Margery Easton and the START contractors – they are making great progress on the plan and the GRP.
Lots of inquiries from shippers on the transport of shale gas extraction waters down the Ohio River to the Gulf of Mexico. This will be an ongoing issue and they are looking at potential toxicity and radioactivity issues associated with the water transport.
Representative CAPT Larry Hewett from the Sector Ohio Valley was not present.
Sector North Carolina (Coastal North Carolina Area Committee)
Representative CAPT Anthony Popiel from Sector North Carolina provided a handout and reported that the Sector has been involved with the following:
Focusing on recovery efforts from Hurricane Irene. This will be a long-term recovery operation to re-install the Aids to Navigation (ATON) buoys that broke loose from their anchoring system.
Two PREP exercises were recently conducted. The scenario was of two (2) tankers colliding off of Cape Fear River resulting in an oil release and potential para-xylene plume release to the atmosphere that could potentially impact several coastal counties. Very good coordination and participation from responding agencies.
COOP Exercise is planned for May 2012.
The Sector Command has been relocated to Wilmington, North Carolina.
SOARS exercise at Ft. Macon with the Buoy tender the Elm. This is a biannual exercise utilizing their spill recovery system.
The next Area Committee meeting is scheduled for February 15, 2012 at the Carteret Community College in Moorehead City.
CLOSING REMARKS AND ADJOURNMENT:
The Co-Chairs again thank everyone for attending the Region III RRT meetings this week. Thank you to all our speakers for their dynamic and interesting presentations. If you want to volunteer or know of a speaker for upcoming RRT Meetings, please contact RRT Coordinators, Linda Baines (Linda.H.Baines@uscg.mil) or Linda Marzulli (Marzulli.Linda@epamail.epa.gov).
The next Region III RRT meeting is scheduled for May 15-17, 2012 in Ocean City, Maryland. Additional information will be provided as soon as hotel arrangements are finalized. Please continue to check the RRT III website’s Upcoming Meetings section at http://www.rrt3.nrt.org.
Next RRT III Meetings for 2012 (tentative)
May 15-17 - Ocean City, MD
September 11-13 - State College, PA
Websites for the RRT
RRT III new website address: http://www.rrt3.nrt.org.
Regional Contingency Plan (RCP) homepage new address: http://www.rrt3-rcp.nrt.org.