JANUARY 30, 2014 — The Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC) and Alaska Maritime Prevention and Response Network has announced a "strategic alliance" to support non-tank vessels (NTV) in meeting new Federal regulations and enhance oil spill response in Western Alaska and Prince William Sound.
The announcement was made yesterday at a meeting in Anchorage of the Alaska Regional Response Team meeting in Anchorage. As a part of the alliance, the network will join the Marine Preservation Association (MPA), the funding organization for MSRC. Through its membership in MPA, the network and its participants will have access to MSRC's resources and know-how. MSRC has the largest, dedicated resources of personnel and equipment located in the continental U.S, including resources for potential cascading to Alaska.
MSRC will work with the network to develop a "Western Alaska Fly Away Kit" identifying appropriate resources that could be flown to Alaska to support an incident, as directed by the Responsible Party at the time of an incident. This "Western Alaska Fly Away Kit" could include recent additions to MSRC's inventory, such as Norwegian fast advancing oil collection systems ("busters") and remote sensing capabilities. In addition, MSRC will participate with the network and its other response partners, including Alaska Chadux, in an annual exercise. The network is working to enhance the NTV Alternative Planning Criteria (APC) to include MSRC's planned "Western Alaska Fly Away Kit", and will submit this enhanced APC to the USCG as a part of the Network's commitment to improving response capabilities in Western Alaska.
According to Steve Benz, MSRC President and CEO, "MSRC continues to look for alliances to cover NTV requirements servicing the U.S. markets. We have been impressed with the network's commitment to delivering on real response capability, new technology and the equipment and personnel that can support a response in the remote locations of Alaska."
"When the USCG approved the network NTV APC on 20 December 2013, it was clear they expected progress toward enhancing oil spill response capability in Western Alaska," said Capt Ed Page, Network Board President. "We are confident that network's new relationship with MSRC provides an important step toward this goal as well as provide a greater response capability should a Network nontank vessel Participant need these services."
The network is an Alaskan based nonprofit corporation whose mission is to implement alternative spill response and prevention measures that most cost effectively meet the environmental protection objectives of federal NTV regulations. Formed originally to implement the network tank vessel APC in 2011, the network now administers the NTV APC for vessels operating in both Western Alaska and Prince William Sound Captain of the Port Zones. Working with Alaska Chadux as the APC Alaska based OSRO and Marine Exchange of Alaska to provide the vessel-monitoring component of the NTV APC, the network is committed to implementing creative solutions to meet the needs of non-tank vessel operators sailing Alaska waters.
MSRC is the largest OSRO operating in the United States. MSRC is funded exclusively by the Marine Preservation Association (MPA), whose member companies include oil and transportation companies operating in the U.S. MSRC's comprehensive capabilities, including systems-based mechanical recovery, controlled burning, aerial tracking, remote sensing through a contract with Ocean Imaging, extensive communications capability and other newer technology tools are available to MPA members. MSRC was the largest OSRO on the Deepwater Horizon event and has extensive experience with oil spills from tanker, barge, cargo and container vessels, pipeline spills, and natural disasters such as hurricanes and flooding.