Navy region northwest practices fuel spill scenario homeport northwest eur j gastroenterology hepatology impact factor

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180426-N-VH385-0070 MANCHESTER, Wash. (April 26, 2018) – Members of numerous different federal, state, county and local tribal agencies are briefed and updated at a command and general staff meeting during Navy Region Northwest (NRNW) Rich Passage 2018, a simulated fuel spill, at the Navy’s Manchester Fuel Depot. NRNW Rich Passage 2018, is a multi-agency, joint-service, exercise that included more than 20 federal, state, local and tribal agencies working together to spearhead a simulated fuel spill from the Manchester Navy Fuel Depot, which is the largest military fuel facility in the continental United States. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Wyatt L. Anthony)

“Every year each facility that is regulated by the EPA, Coast Guard or state has to a facility drill to show that their facility can respond,” said Tammy Brown, the Navy’s incident commander for Rich Passage 2018. “But once every three years we have to hold a larger drill with all of the regional teams to show that we can respond together to react to a worst case scenario that we couldn’t handle on our own.”

“The goal for the Navy is to practice a worst-case drill, we plan for the biggest release that can be from all of our facilities by regulation, and so it’s a chance for all of our regional teams to get together from all of the bases in the region and come together to practice a large response with all of our federal, state, local and tribal officials and agencies,” said Brown. Although the Navy is working together with more than 20 agencies, with the hypothetical spill coming from a NRNW facility, the primary responsibility for cleaning up the fuel falls on the Navy.

“The Navy is the responsible party for this,” said Brown. “It was our oil and our facility, so we are totally responsible for the response and the cost associated with this, and making sure that we clean it up as fast as possible while protecting the community.”

“The Department of Ecology’s goal is to help the responding team perform a rapid, aggressive and well-coordinated response, and above all we want to make sure that we are operating safely, and nobody gets hurt as a result of responding to the oil spill,” said Dave Byers, response section manager for the Washington State Department of Ecology.

180426-N-VH385-0128 MANCHESTER, Wash. (April 26, 2018) – Jeff Rodin, the Environmental Protection Agency’s emergency response and on-scene coordinator, gives a brief at a command and general staff meeting during Navy Region Northwest (NRNW) Rich Passage 2018, a simulated fuel spill, at the Navy’s Manchester Fuel Depot. NRNW Rich Passage 2018, is a multi-agency, joint-service, exercise that included more than 20 federal, state, local and tribal agencies working together to spearhead a simulated fuel spill from the Manchester Navy Fuel Depot, which is the largest military fuel facility in the continental United States. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Wyatt L. Anthony)

“Ecology has been, arguably, one of the best response teams compared to other states in the nation. We respond to over 4,300 spills of oil and hazardous materials. We are responsible for cleaning up every drug lab in the state of Washington, so we are a very active and well-trained team,” said Byers. “We also have a great compliment of technical tools that we can use to respond to an incident. We’ve embedded, at the local level, oil and hazardous materials response equipment and placed it in the hands of trained first responders as part of a well-response equipment network. In total we’ve got more than 200 caches of equipment across the state to help us respond to incidents like this and we can reach into that compliment of equipment and trained responders to help us respond.”

Another of the agencies involved in Rich Passage 2018 is the local native American Suquamish tribe, who has a long-standing claim to a lot of the local waterways connected to the Puget Sound. The tribe works hand- in-hand with the Navy on a daily basis, and this just provides another opportunity for the tribe and the Navy to become more tightly knit.

“The Suquamish Tribe works cooperatively with most state and federal agencies, and the Navy in particular, who we work on day-to-day operations with,” said Cherrie May, Suquamish tribe emergency response coordinator. “The Navy are our neighbors, we work quite a bit with them, and to see those relationships working together in an incident, and how well they function together, is really nice to see.”

180426-N-VH385-0032 MANCHESTER, Wash. (April 26, 2018) – Members of numerous different federal, state and county agencies move around command central during Navy Region Northwest (NRNW) Rich Passage 2018, a simulated fuel spill, at the Navy’s Manchester Fuel Depot. NRNW Rich Passage 2018, is a multi-agency, joint-service, exercise that included more than 20 federal, state, local and tribal agencies working together to spearhead a simulated fuel spill from the Manchester Navy Fuel Depot, which is the largest military fuel facility in the continental United States. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Wyatt L. Anthony)

Personnel fromthe Navy and other federal, state, county and local agencies and tribes participated in joint response efforts following a simulated fuel spill at the Navy’s Manchester Fuel Depot. NRNW Rich Passage 2018, is a multi-agency, joint-service, exercise that included more than 20 federal, state, local and tribal agencies working together to spearhead a simulated fuel spill from the Manchester Navy Fuel Depot, which is the largest military fuel facility in the continental United States. (U.S. Navy photos by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Wyatt L. Anthony)