For Release: Thursday, November 7, 2013
DEC and Global Companies to Co-Host a Mid-Hudson River Oil Spill Drill in New Windsor
Simulated Spill to Improve Coordination among Agencies and Help Prevent Environmental Damage
DEC and Global Companies, LLC are conducting a mid-Hudson River oil spill drill on Tuesday, November 12, from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Global South Newburgh, 1184 River Road, New Windsor, as part of preparation and training for a coordinated response and improved communication among government agencies should a major spill occur, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced today.
"DEC and our partners recognize that collaborative efforts are integral to rapid response in emergency situations like a major oil spill in one of New York's important waterways," Commissioner Martens said. "This drill will help improve those efforts between emergency response agencies, and will include invaluable training so that emergency responders will be able to act swiftly to stop harmful environmental effects in the event of an actual oil spill or train derailment."
DEC will be joined by representatives from Global Companies, the U.S. Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), local emergency management teams (Orange, Dutchess and Ulster counties), the New Windsor Fire Department, numerous local and nationwide contractors and several local law enforcement agencies.
"These drills and exercises give us an opportunity to work with federal, state and local authorities and contractors to achieve common goals with regard to safety and the environment," said Paul LaValle, area manager, Global Companies LLC.
Captain Gordon Loebl, Coast Guard captain for the Port of New York and New Jersey, whose area of responsibility extends up to the Troy Locks, said, "This exercise illustrates the importance that the Coast Guard gives to the Hudson River, an economically vital and historic waterway. Anytime we can work with fellow first responder organizations, it is a win for the Coast Guard and the public."
The drill scenario will involve a five million gallon heating oil storage tank that has a catastrophic failure where, approximately 50,000 gallons of oil leaks into the Hudson River. The scenario will also include a train derailment. There will be a hands-on portion of the drill, which may be visible to the public, where crews will place booms in the river and operate a boat skimmer to demonstrate tactics for both the containment and removal of oil in the water. The drill will also provide local and county hazardous material teams an opportunity to train for a potentially hazardous situation involving a rail car incident.