Oil Spill Task Force Meeting June 19

The June 19 event in Portland, Ore., will feature a series of panel discussions with guests who are actively involved in federal, state, or provincial efforts to manage abandoned and derelict vessels, along with information on funding, prevention, cleanup and removal, and other challenges associated with managing these vessels across the task force's jurisdictions.

Portland, Ore. is the site of this year's annual meeting of the Pacific States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force, comprised of Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii. The task force is a forum where members can work together to implement regional initiatives to help protect 56,600 miles of coastline stretching from Alaska to California, including the Hawaiian Islands.

Members from the wstern states and provinces on the Pacific Ocean will gather June 19 for the half-day meeting in order to discuss how best to protect the West Coast from spills and pollution associated with derelict and abandoned vessels. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is hosting the meeting, which is taking place from 8 a.m. to noon at the Oregon Convention Center, room B117-B118. The event is open to the public and attendance is free of charge.

The event will feature a series of panel discussions with guests who are actively involved in federal, state, or provincial efforts to manage abandoned and derelict vessels, along with information on funding, prevention, cleanup and removal, and other challenges associated with managing these vessels across the task force's jurisdictions.

The task force was authorized by a Memorandum of Cooperation in 1989 by governors of Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and California and the premier of British Columbia after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in March 1989 and the Nestucca oil spill -- a large spill of bunker fuel oil on Dec. 22, 1988, after a tug collided with the barge Nestucca near Grays Harbor, Wash. The spills highlighted common concerns regarding oil spill risks shared by West Coast states and provinces and the need for cooperation across shared borders.

The task force members include:

  • Thomas M. Cullen Jr., administrator, Office of Spill Prevention and Response, California Department of Fish and Wildlife/li>
  • Keith Kawaoka, deputy director of Environmental Health, Hawaii Department of Health
  • Larry Hartig, commissioner, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Dale Jensen, Spills Program manager, Washington Department of Ecology
  • Lydia Emer, Land Quality administrator, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
  • Mark Zacharias, deputy minister, British Columbia Ministry of the Environment

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