Posted on Nov 14, 2018

Water Quality Insurance Syndicate

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has issued draft guidelines on Arctic marine mammal disasters under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. These guidelines will update the Marine Mammal Oil Spill Response Guidelines of 2006. Comments must be submitted on or before March 13, 2017.

Oil spill responses in Arctic Alaska present special challenges due to the region’s large population of marine mammals, its remote conditions and lack of infrastructure, and a dearth of equipment and personnel trained in pollution response focused on marine mammals. The animals provide important subsistence and cultural resources for Alaska’s Native coastal communities, and ship owners and operators must be prepared to cooperate with and be sensitive to the needs and preferences of the local communities when it comes to disaster response.