Coast Guard discusses Artic oil spill at seminar

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The Coast Guard hosted the Spill of National Significance Executive Seminar Monday at its headquarters in Washington, D.C.

As a follow-up to last year’s seminar, the Coast Guard explored national-level policy issues associated with Arctic spill response and coordination of senior officials during an Arctic spill.

More than 75 senior government officials and advisors representing 20-plus federal agencies and departments participated in this year’s event.

“The 2013 SONS Executive Seminar highlighted several opportunities to enhance our preparedness and response posture for an spill of national significance,” Rear Admiral Tom Ostebo, District 17 Commander and the Alaska SONS Federal On Scene Coordinator, said in a statement. “This exercise was particularly useful in making sure all of us continue to look for the unexpected and remain creative in both prevention and response planning in the Arctic.”

Department of Homeland Security operations coordinator and planner Richard Chávez said that although considerable work and planning has been done to enhance our government preparedness for a spill of national significance in the Arctic, there is still more work to do.

“The 2013 SONS Executive Seminar and training serves as an excellent means for building partnerships and discussing key national-level issues and lessons learned from prior incidents to ensure we are better prepared to respond as an interagency in the future,” Chávez said.

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