Role and Responsibilities of RRT Membership During an Incident Region 8 RRTTabletop Exercise Steven Merritt & Craig Myers June 30, 2010
National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP) • Promulgated in the 1970s • Guides EPA and Coast Guard response to releases/discharges of hazardous substances/oil • Used for Emergency Response, Removal Actions and Remedial Actions • Establishes the National Response Team, consisting of numerous Federal Agencies • Can be superseded by the National Response Plan (NRP)
Regional Response Team (RRT) • The regional counterpart to the National Response Team • Composed of 16 Federal Agencies and additional State/Tribal Agencies • Convenes semiannually to review regional issues and plan for responses • Chaired by the EPA and the Coast Guard
Exercise Objective • The Goals of this Exercise are to: • Understand the roles and capabilities of the various RRT Member Agencies • Generate discussion about RRT support and input to response actions involving oil and hazardous substances • Familiarize RRT Members with response tools available to OSCs
Ground Rules • This is NOT a test • There are no wrong answers or questions • Participants are encouraged to speak from their institutional knowledge • Not a game of stump the chump; it is acceptable to say “Let me get back to you…” • The goal is to encourage an ongoing dialogue • Be open-minded, suspend disbelief, and have fun; this time the incidents are only on paper
Initial Notification • At 7:50 PM on June 29, 2010, a man walking his dog along the river reports a series of “loud booms” coming from the vicinity of a railroad bridge • The caller states that he thinks a train may have collided with something near the bridge, but he is unable to ascertain whether any cars are derailed • He reports seeing a dust or smoke cloud in the area, but cannot see any flames from his vantage point
Weather Conditions • Severe thunderstorm with hail and extremely heavy rain just passed through the area • Temperature is 76°F • Wind is out of the northwest at 5 to 10 mph • Humidity is 92% • Sky is cloudy, but clearing
Subsequent 9-1-1 Reports • Drivers along the interstate report limited visibility on the highway near the incident due to an acrid smoke plume that appears to be originating near the railroad bridge • One driver, stopped and taking pictures on the shoulder, indicates that the bridge appears to be partially collapsed at one end and that a locomotive is derailed within that section • Another caller reports a “dark colored liquid” in the river, flowing downstream from the bridge
Collapsed Bridge Crude Pipeline
Collapsed Bridge Crude Pipeline
Immediate Local Actions • Which agencies would be dispatched to the scene upon initial notification? • What are the immediate critical issues that must be addressed? • Who would 9-1-1 dispatch center be calling at this point for assistance? • Evacuations or shelter in place orders issued?
ICP Location KOA Campground Incident Location Green River State Park & Recreation Area
Tesoro Refinery Bismarck State College Stadium ICP Location Incident Location
State Government Actions • Who (which department/division) would be notified of the incident within state government? • What resources would be dispatched by state government? • What actions would be taken by these resources? • Would R8 RRT member agencies be notified? • Would notified state government departments/divisions reach out to members of the R8 RRT initially? • Could notified entities facilitate communication between the local responders and external agencies?
Actions by UDEQ and NDDES • How would you be alerted to the incident? • How would you respond? • Who within the agency would be notified? • What resources could/would the agency dispatch? • Are there other RRT members you would contact?
On-Scene Report – 8:30 PM • One train involved; one confirmed fatality in first locomotive on bridge • Track blocked and bridge partially collapsed at the first section encountered in direction of travel • UP train has derailed and stacked up behind locomotive on collapsed section of bridge • Fire associated with breach of fuel tank on second locomotive is spreading • A pipeline has been severed in bridge collapse and contents are spilling into the creek
Department of Homeland Security • With limited information, the State of UT/ND requests FEMA declare a this incident a disaster. • Does FEMA make such a declaration? • Would it cover both counties? • How would this affect the Federal response to the incident?
NRC Report • NRC notifies EPA Duty Officer • UPRR train carries anhydrous ammonia and acrolein in tank cars; derailed but unknown if breached • Utah (Low-Level Radioactive Waste) • North Dakota (Phorate Pesticide) • Locomotive leaking diesel and on fire
Issues for EPA OSC • Who does the duty officer contact? • Would a responder be sent? • What actions should the responding OSC take? • How would responding OSC coordinate with other responders? • How long would it take to respond to the scene of the incident?
ERT & Strike Team Involvement • Technical skills? • Communications? • Accounting? • Would they be needed?
Issues for EPA RRT Co-Chair • Do you call other RRT members at this point? • What is the USCG Co-Chair role at this point? • Would EPA staff the Regional Emergency Operations Center? • Would a second EPA OSC be dispatched for this incident? Under what circumstances?
General Issues For EPA • How does the OSC communicate with EPA management? • How does the EPA OSC integrate into the unified command structure? • Do other RRT members join command structure?
Bismarck State University Stadium • 10,000 fans in the stadium, threatened by release of ammonia and potential release of phorate pesticide • Managing evacuations and preventing people from transiting through plume • Conditions deteriorating outside the stadium and traffic at standstill
Issues from EPA OSC • Unable to reach the pipeline operator and stop the flow of oil into the river? • Leaking ammonia tank and public/responder health/safety concerns related to fire/plumes? • How/where would EPA, UDEQ, NDDES perform air monitoring? • What other agencies will respond?
Radioactive Low-Level Waste • What capabilities/authorities does DOE have to respond to a radioactive materials transportation incident/accident? • What capabilities/authorities does NRC have to investigate and enforce against parties responsible for radioactive materials transportation incidents/accidents? • EPA OSC has requested DOE RAP Team support through RRT
USCG Issues • What is USCG capability in UT/ND? • Are boats available in either area? • Role for local/federal agencies with boats? • On-water role for EPA, UDEQ, NDDES and local Fire Departments? • Who controls activity on the water? • Do we want boats on the water?
ATSDR • How would you be alerted to the incident? • How would you respond? • Who within the agency would be notified? • What resources could/would the agency dispatch? • Are there other RRT members you would contact?
Public Health Concerns • Does HHS have role in protecting downstream water users? • Who determines levels of concern in water? • Can HHS provide count of hospital beds? • Any pharmaceutical in storage to treat acrolein? • Who/where is POC for HHS & locals?
OSHA • How would you be alerted to the incident? • How would you respond? • Who within the agency would be notified? • What resources could/would the agency dispatch? • Are there other RRT members you would contact?