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OR&R Presents at Northwest Area Committees Environmental Unit Training

JUNE 13, 2022 — On May 24-25, 2022 OR&R’s Emergency Response Division presented at the Northwest Area Committees Environmental Unit Training.

An image of a beach.

Over the past several months, NOAA scientific support coordinator, Commander Faith Knighton, was a member of the planning committee, working with partners from federal and state agencies to design the environmental unit training curriculum, write an agenda, and schedule and coordinate training over a virtual platform. 

The objective of this workshop was to provide a venue for environmental response specialists of all experience levels to share, learn, and practice the use of tools, policies, and procedures presented in the Northwest Area Contingency Plan that are specific to an incident management organization’s environmental unit. 

ERD staff gave several presentations during the training. Commander Faith Knighton presented on the role of the scientific support coordinator, an overview of scientific tools to aid in oil spill response, and presented on a panel with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Endangered Species Act compliance and the emergency consultation process in the NWRCP. Chris Barker, an oceanographer with OR&R, presented an Oil Spills 101 talk on the properties, weathering, fate, and transport of oils. 

Other topics covered included the Northwest Area Contingency Plan, Geographic Response Plans, Incident Command System-232 Resources at Risk, wildlife response, an introduction to plans such as SCAT, sampling, decontamination, air monitoring, and inadvertent discovery plans, an introduction to permits, the role of the environmental unit in the tactics meeting, and the unit and the operations section. The two-day training was facilitated by the Washington State Department of Ecology. Presentations were given by numerous federal and state agencies.

The training had over 60 participants in attendance from federal, state, and tribal agencies in the Pacific Northwest. NOAA participants represented OR&R, the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, Fisheries, and the Office of Coast Survey. 

The outcome from this workshop is to prepare responders that interact with and work in the environmental unit for the upcoming Pacific Northwest exercise season and response readiness in the region.

The presentations were recorded and will be available on Washington State’s Oil Spills 101 website.  

For further information, contact CDR Faith Knighton at

Last updated Tuesday, November 8, 2022 1:41pm PST