Monday, June 14, 2010

State has plan for oil on the coast

Oil from the BP spill in the Gulf may or may not make its way up to the North Carolina coast. But if it does, state officials are ready.

"North Carolina has a plan for dealing with the possible incursion of the BP Deep Horizons oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico into the state’s coastal waters," says the Washington News.

"That plan may be found on the N.C. Department of Crime Control & Public Safety’s Web page under the heading for the Division of Emergency Management, said department spokesman Ernie Seneca. The department’s Web page may be found at ...

The plan was developed in the “remote chance some of this oil will make its way up here,” Seneca said in an interview with the Washington Daily News. ...

Meanwhile, the state is preparing to act if oil threatens its waters.

“North Carolina has an oil spill-response plan that defines roles and responsibilities for responding agencies,” Seneca said. “The state of North Carolina is closely monitoring BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. State and federal agencies are coordinating plans to be fully prepared to respond in case the oil reaches our state. The U.S. Coast Guard is currently projecting that there is a remote chance that the oil could reach this far north and threaten North Carolina’s coast.”

North Carolina’s plan makes the Coast Guard the lead agency in charge of oil threatens coastal waters, with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the lead agency in charge if oil threatens inland waters. The N.C. Department of Crime Control & Public Safety, which includes the Division of Emergency Management, is the lead state-response agency. The N.C. State Emergency Response Team, headed by the state’s emergency-management director, assists federal agencies, coordinates state preparations and response activities and works with local communities and responders.

Glad to hear that state officials are planning ahead. Hopefully it is unnecessary planning.

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