Scientific Support Coordinator at Sector Northern New England PREP Drill
OCTOBER 4, 2021 ─ New England Scientific Support Coordinator William Whitmore traveled to Belfast, Maine on September 21-22 to assist U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Northern New England with an oil spill drill that was part of the USCG National Preparedness for Response Program (PREP) and a mission-critical NOAA assignment.
COVID protocols were in place and enforced by the USCG, including mandatory masked and limited attendance. On September 21, Whitmore gave a training presentation on NOAA emergency response capabilities and tools to approximately 80 federal and state emergency responders, including staff from the U.S. Coast Guard, EPA, and the states of Maine and New Hampshire. The actual oil spill drill was on September 22. In the drill scenario, a tanker vessel struck bottom and unaware of damage to the hull, continued to transit through West Penobscot Bay, spilling over 6,500 barrels of diesel oil throughout the Penobscot Bay area. NOAA Emergency Response Division and Spatial Data Branch staff helped develop model, trajectory, and mapping materials for the drill.
For further information, contact William.Whitmore@noaa.gov.