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LT Tracy Wirth USCG Office of Incident Management and Preparedness. Use of Volunteers During Oil Spill Response. 40 CFR 300.5: Volunteer-any individual accepted to perform services by the lead agency which has authority to accept volunteer services. What is a Volunteer?.

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Use of Volunteers During Oil Spill Response

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Use of volunteers during oil spill response

  • LT Tracy Wirth

  • USCG Office of Incident Management and Preparedness

Use of Volunteers During Oil Spill Response

What is a volunteer

40 CFR 300.5: Volunteer-any individual accepted to perform services by the lead agency which has authority to accept volunteer services.

What is a Volunteer?

Unaffiliated Volunteer

Paid Volunteer

Unpaid Volunteer

Convergent Volunteer

Affiliated Volunteer

Volunteer Management Agency

History of volunteer use in oil spill response

  • Volunteers have responded to oil spills in the past:

    • T/V EXXON VALDEZ- March 1989

      • Wildlife rescue--->spill response

    • M/T ATHOS I- November 2004

      • Wildlife rescue (Audobon Society; Delaware River Keepers; Tri-State Bird Rescue)

    • M/V HEBEI SPIRIT- December 2007

      • +1 million volunteers

      • Private citizens, S. Korean government; US government

    • M/V COSCO BUSAN- November 2007

History of Volunteer Use in Oil Spill Response

Nongovernmental participation

  • 40 CFR 300.185

  • (a) Industry groups, academic organizations, and others are

  • encouraged to commit resources for response operations.

  • (c) ACPs shall establish procedures to allow for well organized, worthwhile, and safe use of volunteers….” ACPs should provide for the direction of volunteers by the OSC/RPM or by other federal, state, or local officials knowledgeable in contingency operations and capable of providing leadership. ACPs also should identify specific areas in which volunteers can be used…. Unless specifically requested by the OSC/RPM, volunteers should not be used for physical removal….volunteers shall be restricted from on-scene operations”

Nongovernmental Participation

Key concepts from draft nrt use of volunteers tad

  • Area Committee collaboration with local, state, regional affiliated volunteer organizations;

  • Bolster pre-incident training and exercise participation & planning;

  • Gain an awareness of federal & state’s safety and health standards/regulations for response to oil;

Key Concepts from “DRAFT” NRT Use of Volunteers TAD

Key concepts cont d

  • Be aware of and use social networking technologies to disseminate official information, dispel rumors, and assist in educating volunteers;

  • Liability-Understand the existing complexities ; and

Key Concepts cont'd...

Coast guard interim policy

  • Based on key concepts developed in the NRT Volunteer Workgroup but meet the specific needs of CG Federal OSCs;

  • Can also be used for other agencies in their use of volunteers policy development;

  • Draft form--->intend to be released as message SOON!

Coast Guard Interim Policy


  • Liability

    • For volunteers

    • For volunteer actions

    • Exposure of the RP to injury lawsuits

  • Volunteer Safety and Health

    • OSHA Standard

    • EPA Standard

  • Avoid subversion of rule-making process

    • Implication for guidance that may be contradictory to policy

  • Congressional Interest


Corporation for national community service cncs

  • Independent Federal Agency

  • Experience includes:

    • Volunteer outreach;

    • Volunteer communication;

    • Volunteer training; and

    • Volunteer management

    • Work with FEMA through ESF #8

Corporation for National Community Service (CNCS)

Memorandum of understanding cncs uscg and epa

  • Develop and support an unaffiliated volunteer management program;

  • Participate in preparedness and planning activities; and

  • Coordinate with JIC for information dissemination.

Memorandum of Understanding--- CNCS, USCG, and EPA

Project status

  • NRT TAD-

    • 80%; need to develop solid recommendations;

    • Determining the need for additional policy interpretations from EPA;

    • WS&H Committee reviewing training portion of document; and

    • Incident Command System Organization recommendation.

Project Status

Project status cont d

  • CG Policy-

    • 99%; need to complete minor changes

  • MOU-

    • 90%; route through RRTs then EPA and CG chains of command.

Project Status cont'd...

Unified command options

Unified Command Options

Unified Command

Liaison Officer

Volunteer Officer

Assistant Liaison Officer

Planning Section Chief

Volunteer Coordinator

Volunteer Unit Leader

Use of volunteers during oil spill response

Questions?Office of Incident Management & PreparednessMr. Joe Bonn (202) 372 -2250LT Tracy Wirth (202) 372 -2236 LTJG Leora Saviano (202) 372 -2251

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