On October 16th and 17th, NJR conducted a 2-day, Command Post Style, Worst Case Discharge exercise, involving two Portland, Oregon operators and their respective Facility Response Plans.
This exercise was unique as it exercised two different Responsible Parties (RP)s with one scenario. Party B handled the reactive phase of the response with the initial discovery of oil at their dock. Once the source was identified as belonging to Party A, and the response transitioned into the proactive phase, Party A took over as the RP.
The exercise represented approximately 36-hours of activity with two Incident Action Plans (IAPs) being completed, one by each RP. A key component of this exercise was the transition of command and responsibility from one RP to another, and the issues that entailed. The two operators involved worked collaboratively through both days, supporting each other, and in addition to the two IAPs, created a joint Community Air Monitoring Plan in collaboration with the Portland Fire Department, the U. S. EPA, and a consultant. A detailed submerged oil assessment and recovery plan was developed as per the Northwest Area Contingency Plan (NWACP).
Responders from both facilities, as well as, regulating agencies, learned a lot as this was a scenario that had never before been exercised. The success of each company hinged on effective cooperation. They overcame every challenge presented, by the unique situation of changing RP’s in an on-going response, without losing response momentum.