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Emergency Response Staff Receive Honors from Department of State

AUG. 8, 2022 — Two OR&R scientists were recently recognized with a prestigious Department of State Honor Award for their work as part of the National Response Team (NRT) supporting environmental crises in other nations.

A group of people on a beach.
U.S. staff assisting with the oil spill in Peru in early 2022: (from left) John Tarpley, NOAA OR&R; BM2 Jesus Valarde, U.S. Coast Guard; Brandi Todd, NOAA OR&R; MKC Manuel Rivera, U.S. Coast Guard. Image credit: USAID.

Announced at the NRT International Assistance Subcommittee meeting on Aug. 3, 2022, John Tarpley, regional operations branch chief in OR&R’s Emergency Response Division, and Brandi Todd, scientific support coordinator in the Emergency Response Division, were part of a group receiving a Team Meritorious Honor Award from the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

The award is in recognition of John and Brandi’s sustained outstanding performance and significant contributions to the development of the National Response Team International Assistance Subcommittee, including putting into effect the International Assistance Guide. Their accomplishments resulted in critical assistance to 11 nations and one international exercise, which demonstrated the dedication of the U.S. government to provide support to nations facing environmental crises.

John and Brandi served as members of the NRT deployment team for an oil spill north of Lima, Peru in February 2022. In addition, the OR&R spill response team has played key roles in nearly a dozen international environmental incidents where U.S. assistance was sought and provided. Some of the significant incidents included oil spill response planning, training, and spill exercise for Guyana’s Civil Defense Commission in April 2022; the fire and eventual sinking of the container ship X-Press Pearl off the coast of Sri Lanka in 2021; an environmental emergency in Mauritius in 2020, when the bulk carrier Wakashio ran aground on a coral reef; and the sinking of an oil tanker in a UNESCO World Heritage site in Bangladesh in 2014.

Last updated Wednesday, August 17, 2022 2:53pm PDT