Navy to Conduct Oil Spill Response Exercise at Whidbey Island

WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. — U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and Washington State Department of Ecology emergency response officials will conduct an oil spill response exercise at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island’s Seaplane Base in Oak Harbor on May 9.

This large-scale exercise is designed to test the Navy’s ability to respond to and manage a significant spill from a Navy facility, and is part of the Navy’s commitment to protecting Puget Sound.

During the drill no oil will be discharged, however, the Navy will practice responding to a simulated oil spill in Crescent Harbor near the Seaplane Base. Response personnel will be using small and medium boats and bright orange response boom to simulate oil cleanup from the harbor and Saratoga Passage, as well as protect the area’s natural resources.

Although the public will not be impacted by this exercise, nearby residents and commuters may see response activity on the water and in the air through the morning and early afternoon.

Personnel from all Puget Sound area Navy bases, as well as from Navy Supervisor of Ship Salvage in Calif., U.S. Coast Guard District 13, and aircraft from the Washington State Patrol will participate in the exercise.

The Navy routinely conducts response exercises such as this one to meet state oil spill readiness requirements, improve coordination, communication and collaboration with other federal, state and local government agencies during environmental emergencies. Practicing responses in various situations enhances readiness among Navy installations to respond to actual oil spill incidents.

The exercise also will help the Navy fulfill part of Washington’s oil-spill preparedness requirements.

For any questions regarding the Washington State of Ecology, please contact Curt Hart, the Communications Manager for the Washington Department of Ecology at 360-407-6990, or email at CHAR461@ECY.WA.GOV, or Larry Altose, Ecology media relations, 425-649-7009; cell, 206-920-2600, via email at larry.altose@ecy.wa.gov.

20130502-152718.jpgPORT TOWNSEND, Wash. (Oct. 19, 2010) — Pam Correa, a Commander, Navy Region Northwest Port Operations deck hand assigned to Naval Magazine Indian Island, stands by while Commander, Navy Region Northwest crew members deploy an inflatable oil boom during facility response training in Port Townsend Bay. The training requires the Navy’s Spill Management Team to participate in regular deployment exercises to test the Navy’s spill response capabilities. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael E. Wagoner/Released)

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