SEPTEMBER 25, 2015--During the week of 9/21/2015, several OR&R Emergency Response Division staff participated in the regional part of a Columbia River Inland Spill of National Significance exercise series, held in Portland, Oregon.
Spills with national level impact or extreme complexity are designated “Spills of National Significance” (“SONS”), which triggers increased resource allocation and coordination up through Principal-level officials in Washington, D.C. This inland SONS exercise will be conducted in a four-part series comprised of regional, national, and Principal-level discussion-based exercises using the same scenario. The scenario involves a major release of crude oil from a derailed unit train into the Columbia River Gorge east of Portland, Oregon and upstream from the Bonneville Dam. The facilitated discussion at this regional portion of the exercise series focused on impacts to critical infrastructure, tribal participation, public perception and risk communication.
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