DECEMBER 8, 2017 — In November 2017, NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration and several West Coast Joint Assessment Team (JAT) participants completed an update of an informational guide, Recommendations for Conducting Cooperative Natural Resource Damage Assessment.
This new document summarizes the collective roles, lines of communication, and latest suggested field techniques that support effective interactions between response, assessment, and restoration personnel. In addition to the West Coast JAT, there are Joint Assessment Teams that cover Alaska and several states along the Gulf Coast.
The West Coast JAT is an ad hoc discussion group of representatives from state and federal natural resource trustee agencies, spill response organizations, and representatives from the oil industry. The West Coast JAT was formed in 1996 to foster cooperation between agencies and private industry in preparing for, responding to, and assessing damages from spills in California, Oregon, and Washington. The group meets to talk and exchange ideas outside of the urgency of a real oil spill.
The JAT participants meet twice a year, maintaining active working relationships and exchanging information on developing science and methods for oil spill damage assessments.
Current participants of the West Coast Joint Assessment Team include:
- Alaska Tanker Company
- California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Office of Spill Prevention and Response
- Kinder Morgan
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
- Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Pacific States-BC Oil Spill Task Force
- Shell Oil Company
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- Washington Department of Ecology
- Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife