Tribe’s Environmental Response Team to Conduct Spill Boom Exercise

Aug 19, 2014

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Environmental Response Team (ERT) will be conducting a spill boom exercise with cooperating agencies on Kaieríhaton/Thursday, August 21, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The boom exercise is an annual event that was established in 2013 following the delivery of Incident Command System (ICS) 300 & 400 level training, the development of the Tribe’s Geographic Response Plan (GRP), the donation of a boom trailer and spill response materials to the Tribe’s Environment Division from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). The annual exercise provides local responders with practical training in boom deployment, handling, water craft maneuvering and testing of local response capability in advance of spills in Tribal waterways. The exercise provides the opportunity for the Tribe and cooperating response agencies to network and learn from one another about their response capability, tactics and practical skills.

The spill boom exercise involves watercraft activity, boat operators and personnel that will be positioning boom, a floating containment curtain, in areas along the shoreline. “The Tribe’s GRP has identified environmentally sensitive areas, including marsh, which could be adversely affected by a spill depending on the time of year. For example, a spill during breeding season for waterfowl would have negative effects on nesting birds and young of the year. The objective of boom placement is to minimize damage to natural resources” explained Les Benedict, Assistant Director of the Environment Division.

During a real spill emergency, efforts would be coordinated between the Tribe’s Environment Division and Emergency Planning Office, USCG, Massena Detachment, Mohawk Council Emergency Planning, The Seaway Corporation and other essential agencies. This exercise provides the opportunity to assess local response plans, identify resource needs and identify ways to improve response capability.

The Tribe and its coordinating agencies extend their appreciation to the Buck White family for making their property available for exercise will be staging. The location is one of several that have been identified in the Tribe’s GRP as a strategic location that may be used during an actual event because of its location, docking facilities and large area where people and equipment could be staged. The Tribe plans on exercising its GRP each year during the month of August to test its capability in addition to testing the capability of launch points and staging areas. For further information, please contact the Tribe’s Environmental Response Team at the Environment Division, (518) 358-5937.

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