At the end of last year, the U.S. Coast Guard hosted its 2013 Spill of National Significance (SONS) Executive Seminar at its headquarters in Washington, D.C.
As a follow-up to its 2012 SONS Executive Seminar, the Coast Guard hosted the meeting to explore national level policy issues associated with Arctic spill response and to exercise national-level coordination of senior officials during an Arctic SONS. More than 75 senior government officials and advisors representing over 20 federal agencies and departments participated in this year’s SONS. Additionally, two representatives from the state of Alaska, including the commissioner from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, participated in the exercise.
The seminar included a facilitated discussion of outreach activities and logistical planning and support needed during a major offshore oil spill in the Chukchi Sea (North Slope Alaska). The discussions emphasized the importance of transparency of information during a major oil spill in Alaska. In addition, participants reviewed the logistical challenges associated with conducting operations in northern Alaska, and the need to work collaboratively at the most senior levels to ensure an effective response.