Upper Mississippi River Hazardous Spills Coordination Group Meeting

October 15-16, 2008

Davenport, Iowa

 

Meeting Summary

 

Participants

Roger Lauder

Illinois EPA

Rodney Tucker

Iowa DNR/USCG

Mike Anderson3

Iowa DNR

Craig Schafer

Minnesota PCA

Rick Gann

Missouri DNR

Brad Harris

Missouri DNR

Tom Kendzierski2

Wisconsin DNR

Frank Catalano

USACE, St. Louis District

Lynette Gandl

USACE, St. Paul District

Scott Pettis

USACE, Rock Island District/USCG

John Punkiewicz

USACE, Rock Island District

Rob McCaskey

USCG, Sector Upper Mississippi River

Steve Faryan

US EPA, Region 5

Bill Franz4

US EPA, Region 5

Ann Whelan

US EPA, Region 5

Jim Silver

US EPA, Region 7

Mike Coffey

US FWS

Aleshia Kenney

US FWS

Gary Haden

McKinzie Environmental

Mike Ball1

Cedar American Rail

Chad Livingston1

Cedar American Rail

Jim Holland1

Pinnacle Engineering

Dave Hokanson

UMRBA

1 = First day only.

2 = First day only by phone.

3 = Second day only.

4 = Second day only by phone.

 

Call to Order and Introductions

The meeting of the Upper Mississippi River Hazardous Spills Coordination Group (UMR Spills Group) was called to order at 1:00 pm by Rodney Tucker, UMR Spills Group chair. Introductions of all in attendance followed.

 

Recent UMR Response Events

MV Omaha Grounding

Tucker gave a presentation regarding the grounding of the tow boat MV Omaha on May 30, 2008 at approximately river mile 13 of the Missouri River (just upstream from St. Louis).   He provided details regarding the circumstances of the ground and the resulting response effort. 

Tucker offered the following summary of successes and challenges associated with the response effort:

Successes of the Response Effort

§         There was a great partnership between the responsible party (National Maintenance and Repair) and the response agencies involved.

§         The equipment needed for the response was in the local (St. Louis) area.

§         A small amount of oil was spilled considering the potential for release.

§         Side channels were successfully used for collection.

§         Boom vane was successfully deployed.

Challenges in the Response Effort

§         Very remote location made response difficult.

§         Rapidly rising water and flooding.

§         Large amount of debris in the river.

§         Took 10 days for entire operation to be completed.

§         Complications presented by nearby residents.

 

Rob McCaskey noted that booming for this response was challenging, even in the side channels.  He added that the boom vane deployment was a more successful technique than conventional booming, noting that the boom vane had been provided via a Minnesota-based contactor.  McCaskey also commented that the barges which were brought in to raise the tow served two additional functions, to both slow the current and block debris entry into the area. 

 

Craig Schafer asked McCaskey whether the responsible party and the Coast Guard created a unified command.  McCaskey replied that, yes, this is how the response unfolded, even though it was never federalized.  Schafer asked Tucker whether the response was daytime only or whether it was a round-the-clock response.  Tucker replied that it was some of each during the course of the response.

 

Jim Silver noted that, as part of the discussion during the revision of the St. Louis area response strategies, the St. Louis Water Department had indicated their ability to shut down intakes selectively depending on the origin of the spill (Missouri River or Mississippi River). 

 

McCaskey re-iterated that the boom vane had performed well, noting that while it is an expensive tool, its success counterbalances that concern.   He added that 10-12” boom was too large for use in this area, and that 6-8” would be preferred for large river response – emphasizing that this is an important consideration for future spill planning and response.  Schafer concurred that this insight regarding boom size is an important lesson learned.

 

Schafer asked whether a public information officer was part of the response effort.  Tucker replied that dealing with local media was challenging on the first day of the response, but that the public information officer worked well.

 

Guttenberg, Iowa Train Derailment

Mike Ball gave a presentation regarding the train derailment near Guttenberg, Iowa on July 9, 2008.  He described both the circumstances causing the derailment – landslide and boulder damaging rail lines – and the subsequent response to the derailment.

 

Ball described the incident priorities as: 1) life safety, 2) incident stabilization, and 3) property conservation.  Other observations made by Ball regarding the response included:

§         The incident took place in a remote location which made access and communications difficult.  No equipment caches were nearby, so materials had to be acquired and brought in.

§         The Coast Guard was helpful in establishing no-wake zones to aid the response.

§         After some initial challenges, the combined public/private sector response worked well and the rail company (Cedar American) was involved in all aspects of the incident command structure.  In this sense, the rail company was able to “control its own destiny.”

§         The presence of rail cars carrying ethanol added complication to the response.  Even though ethanol was not spilled, this was a concern both in terms of potential spills and the presence of a flammable material at the response site.

§         A specialized re-railing contactor was employed to bring locomotives out of the river.

§         Many sorbent booms were used which ultimately had to be removed and incinerated. 

 

Schafer asked how many cars, in total, had been derailed.  Ball replied that a total of 14 cars had been derailed.  Roger Lauder asked how explosion risks had been minimized in the response.  Ball replied that an explosion-proof pump in a closed loop system had been employed. Tucker noted that there had been some concerns regarding the safety of Iowa DNR conservation officers’ actions during the response, but that these had been addressed.

 

Jim Holland introduced himself and described his company, Pinnacle Engineering as a “second responder,” responsible for technical and remedial work.  He provided additional observations regarding the response to the derailment as follows:

§         The first boom was placed in the water approximately 12 hours after the incident and that boom had been obtained from nearby lock and dam facilities.

§         Efforts made by Iowa DNR were helpful in the response.

§         The incident took place in a side channel (slough) that included fish and mussel habitat.

§         About 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel was lost into the river (out of a total of 10,000 gallons).  Most of the product was lost before booms were in place.  Once booms were in place, recovery of product was very successful. 

§         Pinnacle is working on mussel recovery with Iowa DNR and mussel studies are underway.  Some mussels downstream from the site have shown a dark “smudge” on their inside surface.

§         Communication was a challenge in this location.

§         Shutting down the slough and managing no wake zones were among the biggest challenges in the response.

§         High water was actually helpful as it allowed the work barge with crane to reach the site.

 

Jim Silver asked if there was any US EPA presence at the response. Ball replied that there had been no US EPA presence, though his understanding was that the Coast Guard had coordinated with US EPA.  He added that in most responses, the local jurisdiction would lead the incident command, but in this case the rail company led. 

 

Ball further explained that the response contractor used by the rail company for this incident was SunPro, based out of Ohio, as Bay West’s resources were all deployed to Cedar Rapids at the time due to flooding.  He noted that SunPro has boom vane available for use if needed. Ball added that Cedar American and Canadian Pacific equipment caches were used during the response.

 

Ball commented that the response operation could not go 24 hours a day due to safety concerns and that, overall, the entire response took 15 days.  In closing, Ball thanked the group for the opportunity to present.

 

Flood-Related Responses

Several members of the Group gave presentations on responses related to floods that occurred throughout 2008. 

 

Iowa: Tucker reported on flood-related responses in Iowa. He noted that the early summer floods followed soon after the Parkersburg tornado of May 25, 2008, with heavy rains beginning on May 29th.  Tucker indicated that response had a focus on metropolitan areas, as well as the protection of drinking water and waste water plants.  He described issues encountered in response to the flood, including loose tanks, household hazardous waste, “bobbing up” of underground tanks, livestock, and landfilling issues. Tucker noted that Joe Davis of US EPA Region 7 ran a unified command addressing waste removal and recovery during the response.

 

Haden asked how dead livestock was disposed.  Tucker replied that this was an issue, but that disposal was eventually handled through the Department of Agriculture by USDA contractors.  Whelan noted that there is a new ESF addressing this kind of disposal issue (general waste).  Schafer noted that Minnesota considers this type of waste to be industrial waste.  Whelan responded that this could raise issues of putting it under ESF 3 (debris), which is a USACE lead.  

 

Tucker also noted that air monitoring took place once areas had dried out, but that no concerns were identified.

 

Missouri: Rick Gann gave a summary of responses related to multiple flood events in Missouri during 2008.  He described flooding effects and responses at Clarksville and Canton in particular.  Gann noted the success in raising a levee at Canton via the use of sandbags, adding that the presence of the lock and dam at Canton may have added to the pressure on this particular levee.  He also commented on the issue of loose railroad ties, reporting that permission was given to burn the ties in place before they floated down river. 

 

US EPA Region 7:  Jim Silver noted that substantial flooding occurred multiple times throughout the year, ranging from March to September.  He commented that the September floods in the St. Louis area were significant, but did not receive as much media attention as flooding earlier in the year.  Haden asked if any buy-outs were occurring as a result of this year’s flooding.  Silver replied that buyouts were occurring, noting the town of Pacific, Missouri in particular.  Gann observed that at least one town that did not accept a buy out after the 1993 floods did not make it through these most recent floods.

 

Illinois:  Roger Lauder reported on flood response in Illinois, noting that, overall, this years flooding was not as severe as that which occurred in 1993.  He credited proactive measures taken by drinking water suppliers following the 1993 floods as minimizing the impact of these most recent floods.  Lauder also noted the successes in interstate cooperation during this year’s events, including the sharing of materials and resources across borders.  He also specifically described the successful effort to raise the bridge access at Hamilton, Illinois which allowed this bridge to stay open throughout the flooding.

 

Wisconsin:  Tom Kendzierski reported on the flooding that took place in Wisconsin, and specifically focused on the failure of the dike separating Lake Delton from the Wisconsin River, which led to the draining of Lake Delton and input of debris to the Wisconsin River.  He noted that Living Lands and Waters (a nonprofit based in East Moline, Illinois) won the contract to conduct debris cleanup using volunteers.  Kendzierski commented that Living Lands and Waters was very successful in completing the cleanup effort at a cost much lower than the bids from other contractors.  Tucker asked whether Lake Delton was still drained at the present time.  Kendzierski replied that it was and that the dike was being re-engineered and that the river delta would have to be dredged out.

 

Minnesota:  Schafer reported that flooding in Minnesota was fairly minor, as compared to that which occurred during 2007.

 

US EPA Region 5:  Faryan commented on Region 5’s flying of the Mississippi River corridor to get an overview of the flooding situation.  He also noted the effort made to recover floating drums.  Whelan reported that Region 5 had been working with state programs on household hazardous waste removal in order that pickup locations can be quickly established.

 

USACE:  John Punkiewicz noted that USACE is currently engaged in dredging operations and levee repair as a result of the flooding.  He added that forecasting was critical in preparing for and dealing with the flood events. More generally, Punkiewicz commented that USACE is still in the position of needing to communicate that the locks and dams on the Mississippi River cannot provide for flood control.

 

USFWS:  Mike Coffey reported that fish hatcheries, in particular, sustained a lot of infrastructure damage from the flooding.  Whelan asked whether, on balance, the floods had done more damage from a fish and wildlife perspective, or had actually helped create more natural conditions for the River.  Coffey replied that no formal survey had been conducted to attempt to assess the net impact of the flooding.

 

Agency Updates

Wisconsin DNR

Kendzierski reported that a new US EPA Region 5 OSC (Kathy Clayton) was now stationed in Green Bay.  He added that this OSC would be housed in the same location as Wisconsin DNR’s spill team leader.

 

Minnesota PCA

Schafer reported on an incident near Reno, Minnesota where the ethanol was spilled to a backwater of the Mississippi River and could not be recovered. He noted that MPCA has begun to look further downstream in the cases of ethanol spills, learning from the experience of the bourbon spill in Kentucky. Schafer also noted a release of soybean oil near Garvin Brook in southeast Minnesota. He further reported that a derailment table top exercise is being hosted at Prairie Island today, and that the UMR Emergency Action Field Guide has been made available to the participants in the table top. 

 

Illinois EPA

Lauder reported that, overall, Illinois EPA’s emergency response unit has been seeing about 250 incidents per month statewide.  He noted that there had been a pipeline break in the Mt. Carmel (southeast Illinois) area and another oil spill in southern Illinois affecting sensitive wildlife areas.  Lauder also described the release of carbon black from a truck along a 17 mile area near Dallas City.  While not a hazardous substance, he noted that the carbon black spread extensively through the air and was difficult to clean up.   Lauder also reported that Illinois is working with the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) on an earthquake exercise to take place in 2011.

 

Missouri DNR

Gann noted that an indictment was recently brought against a company for dumping of biodiesel and glycerin.  He also reported that the breakthrough of gas into PVC drinking water lines has recently been observed – indicating that PVC lines can be compromised.  Gann noted that Missouri will be hosting a TRANSCAER tour in 2009. 

 

Tucker asked whether dates had yet been set for the TRANSCAER events.  Gann replied that it would be in April 2009, but did not have more specific dates available.  He added that the location of one of the events would be at the new ethanol facility near Lock 27. 

 

Schafer noted that Minnesota is also dealing with biodiesel issues, including investigations of some “home batch” biodiesel production.  Gann noted that some of the byproducts of biodiesel production are flammable.

 

US EPA Region 7

Silver commented that Region 7 is currently engaged in assisting US EPA Region 6 in response to hurricanes.

 

US Army Corps of Engineers

Frank Catalano reported that USACE is working with the Coast Guard on an MOA that will position two response trailers at USACE-managed reservoirs. 

 

US Coast Guard

McCaskey noted that, in addition to working with USACE, the Coast Guard is in communication with Wakota CAER and others regarding the disposition of response trailers.

 

Iowa DNR

Tucker reported that Iowa’s 2008 TRANSCAER tour was a success, noting that 609 individuals participated.  He added that the next Iowa tour is being planned to take place in two years.

 

 

 

USFWS

Coffey commented that USFWS had been working on the crude oil spill in southern Illinois, as mentioned in Lauder’s report.

 

US EPA Region 5

Whelan distributed draft biodiesel and ethanol production facility manuals, which have recently been created by Region 5 to aid facilities in planning and response. She added that chemical and radiation training took place during the recent Republican National Convention in St. Paul. 

 

Whelan reported that improvements are being made in the National Response Center (NRC) system which will allow for the updating of NRC reports and editing of records by EPA for incidents that are in EPA’s jurisdiction.  The summary of UMR-specific reports to the NRC covering the period of April-September 2008, as prepared by Faryan, was also distributed at this time.

 

Considerations and Approaches for Response Strategy Development Beyond Sub Areas

Whelan initiated a discussion of response strategy development by noting the following:

§         Responses strategies have been developed for the sub areas and Net Environmental Benefits Analyses (NEBAs) have been done for a few UMR pools.

§         However, these efforts have only covered a small fraction of the UMR.

§         The challenge to be considered is how to expand response strategy development beyond the sub areas and how to use the lessons learned in efforts so far to make future efforts expedient and successful.  

 

Coffey suggested that other approaches or paradigms outside of the way response strategies have been developed to date may need to be considered.  Schafer commented that the same question has come up in Minnesota in regard to the Minnesota River.  Silver offered that he envisioned completing strategies as a paper/tabletop exercise rather than always incorporating a field component.  Haden suggested that perhaps areas with both sensitive resources and actionable collection areas should be targeted. Coffey commented that, for some species that are particularly unique, response plans need to be developed as a priority.  Whalen concurred, noting cases where populations are extremely small and localized.

 

Whelan suggested that one approach might be simply to catalog effective techniques for the UMR so that these are well known and readily available to those involved in UMR responses.  McCaskey concurred, suggesting that it may be important to capture the “lessons learned” regarding UMR response. 

The group listed the following areas where lessons learned for the UMR could be documented:

§         Boom types and configurations, including boom vane and boom deflector.

§         Wildlife hazing.

§         Use of side channels and slack waters.

§         Barges as boom.

§         Unique species/populations.

§         Drinking water intakes.

§         Rail lines.

Dave Hokanson indicated that UMRBA could work with Whelan on compiling this information.

 

The meeting adjourned for the day at 5:00 p.m. and resumed at 8:00 a.m. on October 16th.

 

St. Louis Area Response Strategy Development

Hokanson reported on the recent activities to update, expand and improve response strategies for a 60-mile reach of the UMR in the greater St. Louis area.  He described the interagency process that was undertaken, including meetings, conferences calls, and field work. 

 

Hokanson offered the following outcomes and observations from the St. Louis work to date:

§         It is difficult to prevent materials from entering Chain of Rocks, but there are some actionable areas that could be used, including side channels, National Maintenance & Repair, Lewis & Clark/Cahokia Diversion Canal, and the Chain of Rocks Canal.

§         Manipulation of Lock 27 may only increase collection success somewhat in the Chain of Rocks canal, but still may be worth doing.  Communication with USACE will be important if this option is pursued.

§         Barges may need to be considered as an option for deflection, given the difficulty in deploying boom in this area.

§         Seasonal and flow conditions important are important determinants of applicable techniques and their likely success.

§         Side channels/slack water may need to be used for collection in their upper portions for collection, rather than completely excluding around these areas. It may be necessary to “trade off” bringing some product into these channels to protect more sensitive areas downstream.

§         Many access points are available in the areas, but some that were thought to be useable are not. 

§         Notification is the key for working with water suppliers to protect intakes.  They value notification above any on-water strategies that might be implemented. 

 

Hokanson further described next steps in terms of products and process as follows:

§         UMRBA will refine strategy maps and the associated database, and then produce a draft CD for review and finalization.  Input will be sought from those who participated in the process as well as agencies who were interested, but unable to participate.

§         Once the CD is completed, a meeting/discussion with industry regarding the strategies will be held.  This may include: oil and petroleum facilities, shipping/barge companies, and response contractors.

§         Additionally, modeling of flows for the area may be incorporated.

§         Ultimately, the response strategies will be incorporated into the Inland Sensitivity Atlas and UMR Response DVD.

 

Whelan observed that a meeting with industry would be important, as their facility plans need to be consistent with what is presented in the response strategies.  She added that most of the facilities in the area were actually in Region 5.  Whelan suggested that the conversation with industry take place in the context of a sub area planning discussion.  Hokanson offered that such a meeting could potentially take place some time in early 2009.

 

Lauder suggested that hearing from those working on the Illinois River port security effort might help inform how to proceed in the St. Louis area. 

 

Haden concurred with Whalen’s suggestion that a “roll-out” to industry occur in the context of a Greater St. Louis Sub-area planning meeting.  He added that there needed to be openness to input from industry and that the response strategies effort could eventually feed into an exercise in the area.

 

UMR Early Warning Monitoring Network

Bill Franz gave an update on the status of the network, indicating that three monitoring stations are in place in Minnesota and that next stations to be installed will be a Lock & Dam 14 and at Muscatine, Iowa (University of Iowa research facility).  He added that the monitoring stations were intended not only to serve the response and water supply sectors, but also the water quality sector more broadly. 

 

Mike Anderson provided details of progress at the Lock and Dam 14 site.  He reported that he was working on the equipment procurement process, having already secured approval for the mutliparameter probe and UV spectrometer while continuing to work on approval for the mussel monitor and auto-sampler.  Anderson anticipated final approval for purchase within approximately a week.  He also noted that construction expenses at Lock and Dam 14 would be approximately $10,000 and that details were still being worked out with USACE regarding real estate issues.

 

Franz reported that data sharing and availability were now being addressed, and that a work group had been set up to address this issue.  He added that the University of Iowa will likely be the entity that ultimately houses data from the network’s monitoring stations.

 

Regarding the station at Muscatine, Iowa, Franz indicated that the current plan was for installation in November.  Anderson commented that the University of Iowa has interest in the network as it fits in with their hydraulics work.

 

Franz also noted that there is possibility to install a future monitoring station at the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center’s new Confluence Field Station, which is being constructed just below Lock and Dam 26 on the Illinois side of the river.  He indicated that he had been contact with Rip Sparks regarding this possibility.

 

Franz emphasized that once the funding from the US EPA grant is used up, it will be critical to identify an entity to keep the network running.  One option Franz proposed was re-approaching the US EPA Region(s) through their drinking water and Superfund programs to determine if more support could be found there.

 

Whalen asked what the support for the network was among the drinking water utilities.  Franz responded that there is interest, but not on a completely voluntary basis.  Schafer indicated he would work with Dave Morrison on encouraging ongoing support within MPCA.  Franz indicated that a federal/Congressional strategy for funding might be needed.

 

Developments in Response Planning

Whelan discussed the movement of the Region 5 Integrated Contingency Plan (ICP) towards a format that will incorporate web availability, linked PDF documents, supporting databases, and maps.  She mentioned that the reasons for pursuing this approach include improving accessibility, limiting text, and allowing for updates to be completed more easily via the database. 

 

Whelan presented a template being developed for the Region 5 ICP and suggested that, since the UMR Plan shares a similar structure, the approach being taken in the Region 5 ICP could be applied to the UMR Plan during its next update. 

 

Haden expressed interest in the approach, given ongoing work to update the Region 7 plan and improve its accessibility.  Whelan suggested that it would be beneficial for the Regions to avoid duplicating efforts in updating plans.

 

Area and Sub-Area Planning Updates

Minneapolis-St. Paul Sub Area

Whalen reported that the updating process in the Twin Cities had begun and that Steve Lee of MPCA was working with Minnesota’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEM) to enhance the sub area plan’s scope regarding hazardous materials.  She added that part of the process in updating the plan will be to engage the hazardous materials sector in a way similar to that in which the oil sector has been previously engaged in the process.

 

Quad Cities Sub Area

Haden reported that the Quad Cities Sub Area had been fairly quiet, and that just a few minor edits to the restricted distribution version of the plan needed to be made. 

 

St. Louis Sub Area

Haden indicated that, since the St. Louis Sub Area Plan is current, the focus in the sub area has turned to response strategies development and exercises.  He anticipated that the next meeting of the St. Louis Sub Area planning committee would be timed to occur following the completion of the St. Louis response strategies CD. 

 

Silver asked whether St. Louis’ Area Maritime Security Committee (AMSC) was still planning for an exercise after this summer’s baseball All-Star Game in St. Louis.  Haden replied that his understanding was that this was still the AMSC’s intent and that there also might be a tabletop exercise in March 2009.  

 

Upper Mississippi River Spill Response Plan

Content, Updates and Revisions

Whelan commented that further development of National Wildlife Refuge Plans along the UMR would be one way of supplementing the content and scope of the UMR plan.

 

Reflecting on the conversations from the previous day’s meeting, Whelan encouraged the group to begin the process of documenting the “lessons learned” for the UMR, including topics as discussed previously (such as use of barges as boom, etc.).   She also commented that would be important to capture the concept that conventional booming simply will not work in some areas of the river and that alternative options need to be considered. Hokanson and Whelan indicated that they would work on draft documents to be circulated to the group for further comment and input.

 

In regard to the use of barges as boom, Lauder observed that decontamination of barges might be problematic and potentially expensive.  Whelan acknowledged this issue, but suggested that the benefits of using barges, including speed of deployment and use in areas where boom cannot be successfully deployed, would likely outweigh decontamination costs and that their use may actually end up being less expensive for a responsible party than conventional approaches.  Lauder concurred, clarifying his concern that barge companies not suffer adverse impacts/costs if they are willing to assist in a response.

 

Hokanson noted that the UMR Plan will be updated to include downstream states’ contact numbers.  The group suggested that, similarly, Sector Lower Mississippi River (based in Memphis) should also be added as a contact. 

 

Emergency Action Field Guide

Hokanson indicated that another run of 300 laminated copies of the Guide would be completed in the near future.  Lauder commented that Illinois has incorporated the guide into a reference binder for responders.   Tucker added that the guide has been distributed by Iowa DNR to their conservation officers.   

 

UMR Response Training and Drills

UMR Notification Drill

The group was in agreement that a notification drill, focusing on the lower portion of the UMR, should take place before the next meeting of the UMR Spills Group.

 

May 2008 Quad Cities Spill Response Training

Tucker provided a summary of the response training that took place on Arsenal Island during May 2008.  He reported that the training had been very successful and thanked who had contributed to the effort.  McCaskey noted that it was beneficial to use some of the pollution response trailers in the training that otherwise had not been deployed since their purchase. He added that, should the group consider doing a similar training in St. Louis, Dan Asbach of Sector UMR could provide classroom training similar to that provided by Matt Tillmon during the Quad Cities event.

 

Future Training Events

The group discussed possible location, content, and timing of a next training event.  Silver suggested that training could be done in the St. Louis area next.  Tucker suggested that the LaCrosse area could also be a possibility. 

 

Whelan proposed that non-conventional techniques be considered, such as the use of barges and boom vane.  Punkiewicz suggested that these techniques could be attempted/demonstrated in the Quad Cities initially.  McCaskey provided the manufacturer’s web site for boom vane, where more information could be obtained (www.orc.se).

 

Tucker suggested that a later summer training session in St. Louis might be best.  Gann added that, since the vessel of opportunity skimming system (VOSS) is located in St. Louis, this might provide an opportunity for demonstration.  Whelan concurred, noting that while many of these techniques have been demonstrated in the past, enough time had elapsed to justify another round of use/demonstration.

 

McCaskey noted that use of the VOSS was limited to current of one knot or less.  Gann added that it can also be vulnerable to debris.  Tucker asked whether only the Strike Team could deploy the VOSS.  Whelan indicated that this was the case. 

 

Whelan summarized possible components to be demonstrated as part of a training session:

1)      Barge as boom

2)      VOSS

3)      Boom vane

4)      Boom deflector

She also suggested that options for timing and location would be the Quad Cities in April or St. Louis later in the year. 

 

The group’s consensus preference was for training to be held in St. Louis in the summer of 2009.

 

Next Meeting Date and Location

After discussing alternatives for date and location, the group concluded that their next meeting should be held April 1-2, 2009 in the Quad Cities.