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Media Contact: (907) 463-2065

17th District Public Affairs

U.S. Coast Guard

News Release

Date: June 10, 2013

Marine Safety Unit Valdez

Contact: Lt. Allie Ferko

Office: (907) 835-7209

Government, Industry to hold Prince William Sound Area Exercise in Valdez

VALDEZ, Alaska — The Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, City of Valdez, and Alyeska Pipeline Service Company will conduct a joint oil spill response area exercise in Valdez on Wednesday and Thursday.

Following the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the federal government developed a National Preparedness for Response Exercise Program (PREP) to provide a mechanism for compliance with oil spill response exercise requirements. During area exercises, the entire response community within a geographical area combines into one integrated response team to practice both coordinated response activities and agency jurisdictional responsibilities following a large-scale incident.

Port Valdez PREP Area Exercise 2013 will be a two-day, multi-agency, government-led exercise based around a simulated worse-case oil discharge at the Valdez Marine Terminal. The first day focuses on response operations within the Incident Command Post at the Valdez Emergency Operations Center and requires responders to perform actions usually associated with response to a major spill impacting Port Valdez. The second day focuses on actual field deployment of response resources and simulated protection of sensitive marine areas near the Valdez Marine Terminal, Valdez Duck Flats, and Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery.

"Alyeska makes a significant investment in emergency preparedness and our employees train year-round to respond," said Scott Hicks, Valdez Marine Terminal director and Alyeska's representative on the Unified Command. "Large-scale exercises like the upcoming PREPEX drill require months to plan and close collaboration with the Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environment Conservation and the City of Valdez."

This week’s exercise is designed to evaluate the capabilities and effectiveness of Coast Guard, State, local and industry partners in carrying out their collective responsibilities under the Alaska Federal/State Unified Plan, the Valdez Marine Terminal Contingency Plan, and local response plans.

For further information, please contact Lt. Allie Ferko, USCG Valdez Public Information Officer, (907) 835-7209 (work), (972) 533-8185 (cell), allison.e.ferko@uscg.mil

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