Source: United States Coast Guard
U.S. Coast Guard 1st District Northeast
Contact: 1st District Public Affairs
1st District online newsroom
Editor’s Note: Any Media interested in attending are asked to contact Lt. James McDonough at (207)899-9063
WHO: Coast Guard Sector Northern New England, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Maine and New Hampshire Area Committee, local industry stakeholders and regional port partners
WHAT: Penobscot Bay Preparedness for Response Exercise Program (PREP) Pollution Response Exercise 2021
WHERE: University of Maine Hutchinson Center, 80 Belmont Ave, Belfast, ME 04915
WHEN: Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
BELFAST, Maine – Coast Guard Sector Northern New England and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection will be co-hosting a full-scale, multi-agency pollution response exercise that will be conducted on Wednesday, September 22, 2021. The exercise is designed to evaluate the capabilities and effectiveness of the Coast Guard Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC), the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, as well as other federal, state, local, and industry partners to carry out their collective responsibilities to respond to a major oil spill or other disaster along the Maine coast.
“Training scenarios like this test our multi-agency response capabilities and strengthen our collective ability to effectively respond to a major marine pollution incident,” said Capt. Amy E. Florentino, Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP). “We work with Maine DEP and other members of the Area Committee throughout the year to refine our Area Contingency Plan. This exercise will give us all an opportunity to validate capabilities and exercise our partnerships.”
Participants from federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as private industry will establish an Incident Command Post and Joint Information Center at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center (80 Belmont Ave, Belfast, ME 04915). The exercise will also involve vessels and personnel deploying oil-spill response equipment in Thomaston, ME; Owl’s Head on the Weskeag River; Ballyhac Cove; and Searsport near Mack Point and in Long Cove.
“Our Department’s Oil & Hazardous Materials Responders welcome opportunities like this to train with our interagency partners and industry stakeholders. The development of these working relationships in training is absolutely critical. It establishes the trust and confidence necessary for an effective and successful marine oil spill response,” said Jeff Squires, State On-Scene Coordinator (SOSC) and Director of Maine DEP’s Division of Response Services.
The U.S. Coast Guard alongside federal and local area partners conduct emergency preparedness and pollution response exercises every year as part of established multi-year strategies to build capabilities and improve readiness levels. Planning, training and exercising are important components of the nation’s homeland security strategy and emergency response capabilities.