Maine DEP, Coast Guard and Response Partners To Test Marine Spill Response On Damariscotta River

May 17, 2012

Samantha DePoy-Warren, Maine DEP Director of Communications & Education, at (207) 287-5842 or Ginger McMullin, Maine DEP Response Planning Coordinator, at (207) 446-7032

-The boom deployment exercise on the Damariscotta River will test the feasibility of potential strategies for effectively responding in the event of a large marine spill-

DAMARISCOTTA – Responders from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the US Coast Guard and Moran Environmental Recovery will participate in a boom deployment exercise on the Damariscotta River on Tuesday, May 22 and Wednesday, May 23.

The training exercise, which will begin at the public boat launch in Damariscotta at 6 a.m. on Tuesday and continue with a second deployment that afternoon, is to test the feasibility of response strategies in the event of a large marine oil spill in the river. Depending on results, the exercise may continue into Wednesday morning.

Responders met earlier this week with other interested parties including local aquaculture interests and the Damariscotta River Association to brief them on the exercise plans.

Maine has a total of 209 protection strategies designed for environmentally sensitive areas from Kittery to Calais, and the DEP has an active program to review and test these strategies – particularly in areas with the highest risk for marine oil spills – to ensure natural resources are most effectively protected.

A similar training exercise was held last October in the Penobscot River in Bucksport and others are tentatively scheduled in the Scarborough River, Wells Harbor and Castine this fall.

The Coast Guard will be issuing a notice to alert mariners of the Damariscotta exercise, though boat traffic will not be impacted.

Maine DEP Director of Response Services Barbara Parker, who was on-scene in the Gulf Coast coordinating the response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf Coast, will be available to speak with the media at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the Damariscotta boat launch about the exercise, how it aligns with the state’s larger spill response plan and how the lessons learned by DEP staff deployed to Deepwater Horizon informs Maine’s response planning today.