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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Media Center

DATE: September 13, 2019
CONTACT: Jim Martin, 603 271-3710

New Hampshire Coastal Oil Spill Exercise Planned for September 18

Portsmouth, NH - The Portsmouth Oil Spill Response Workgroup, in conjunction with the Maine/NH Area Committee, is sponsoring an oil spill exercise on September 18, 2019.

This exercise will provide participants with an opportunity to assess capabilities, plans, policies and procedures. It will focus on decision making, coordination and integration with other organizations during a significant coastal oil spill. The expected outcome of the exercise will be improved working relationships between various local, state and federal agencies, as well as the local vessel transportation industry.

Sprague Operating Resources, LLC has volunteered to act as the lead industry partner for this year's exercise, along with assisting in the development of the exercise and spill scenario. Additionally, Sprague Operating Resources will be conducting a boom deployment at its Newington Terminal and have a number of participants integrated into the Command Structure.

A field component will be conducted where 1,500 feet of oil spill boom will be deployed in the area of the Sprague Operating Resources' River Road facility and on Chauncey Creek on the Maine side of the Piscataqua River. The deployments will provide the opportunity for state, federal and contracted response assets to train in the placement of spill protection strategies and to work collaboratively during a spill response.

Exercise Scenario:

The date is September 17, 2019 and at 11:00 in the evening, a severe weather event causes a significant release of oil into the water at the Sprague Operating Resources terminal in Newington. Within a short time, response organizations from Sprague Operating Resources, the US Coast Guard, NH Department of Environmental Services and Maine Department of Environmental Protection initiate response actions. By 4:00 am the response Incident Management Team re-locates management of the spill response to the NHDES pre-designated Incident Command Post at the Pease Tradeport Authority The exercise "play" begins at 8:30, approximately 9 ½ hours after the discovery of the spill.

The following agencies and organizations will participate in the exercise.

  • Sprague Operating Resources, LLC
  • N.H. Department of Environmental Services
  • US Coast Guard Sector Northern New England
  • Maine Department of Environmental Protection
  • NH Fish and Game
  • NH Port Authority
  • NH Marine Patrol
  • NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • NH Division of Historical Resources
  • Dover Fire Department
  • Maine Department of Marine Resources
  • US Coast Guard First District
  • US Fish and Wildlife
  • US Environmental Protection Agency
  • Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Facility Response Team
  • Seacoast Science Center

For more information on this exercise please contact Jason Domke, Planning and Preparedness Manager, NHDES Spill Response and Complaint Investigation Section at 603-559-1506

NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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