Upper Mississippi River Hazardous Spills Coordination Group Meeting

October 6-7, 2009

Rock Island, Illinois

 

Meeting Summary

 

 

 

Participants

Roger Lauder

Illinois EPA

Rodney Tucker

Iowa DNR/USCG

Mike Anderson2

Iowa DNR

Dave Morrison

Minnesota PCA

Rick Gann

Missouri DNR

Tom Kendzierski1

Wisconsin DNR

Frank Catalano

USACE, St. Louis District

Lynette Gandl1

USACE, St. Paul District

Scott Pettis

USACE, Rock Island District/USCG

Jared Angelle

USCG, Sector UMR

Rob McCaskey

USCG, Sector UMR

Elizabeth Komiskey3

US DOT, Office of Pipeline Safety

Steve Faryan

US EPA, Region 5

Theresa Holz

US EPA, Region 5

Barbi Lee

US EPA, Region 5

Ramon Mendoza

US EPA, Region 5

Jaci Ferguson

US EPA, Region 7

Jim Silver

US EPA, Region 7

Mike Coffey

US FWS

Aleshia Kenney

US FWS

Gary Haden

McKinzie Environmental

Matt Stokes

Pinnacle Engineering

Dave Hokanson

UMRBA

1 = By telephone.

2 = First day only.

3 = Second day only.

 

Call to Order and Introductions

The meeting of the Upper Mississippi River Hazardous Spills Coordination Group (Group) was called to order at 1:05 p.m. by Chair Roger Lauder.  Introductions of all in attendance followed.

 

UMR Case Studies

Rockford Train Derailment and Ethanol Spill

Roger Lauder gave a presentation summarizing the train derailment and resulting ethanol spill that occurred June 19, 2009 in Rockford, Illinois.  He provided a timeline of events in the incident and described the participation by Illinois EPA and other organizations in the response.  Lauder described how a torrential rain event had caused train tracks to wash out, resulting in the derailment, ethanol spill and fire.  Lauder briefly addressed the environmental impacts of the event in the Rock River, which were later described in detail by Mike Coffey during his presentation. 

 

Lauder noted the following as among the lessons learned from the incident:

 

§         The importance of communication and stopping rail traffic when tracks are damaged.

§         The need for caution in assuming that all product has been burned off in an incident such as this, as well as the importance of testing to determine whether product has been released.

§         The need to compile data and findings regarding this event in order to help prepare for any similar events in the future.

 

Lauder added that similar events were likely to occur in the future as the amount of ethanol carried on trains increases.  

 

Gary Haden asked about communication to the rail company regarding the damaged track and why the train had not been stopped.  Lauder replied that the National Transportation Safety Board was currently investigating the circumstances leading to the derailment. 

 

Dave Morrison asked whether local fire fighters had been concerned about the possibilities of the rail cars exploding.  Lauder replied that all responders had kept their distance from the incident.  He added that the waterway connection to the Rock River may not have been apparent to the responders and that – absent the preceding heavy rainfall – the connection may not have been as strong or existed at all.  Lauder explained that it was only later, and miles downstream, that fish kills began to be reported.   His comments lead to a transition to Coffey’s presentation that focused on the environmental impacts of the incident. 

 

Rock River Fish Kill

Coffey described the fish kill that resulted from the release of ethanol that followed the derailment described by Lauder.  He noted that more that 72,000 fish were killed, with the deaths beginning approximately 13 hours after the derailment and taking place over a distance of approximately 54 miles in length and significantly downstream from the location of the derailment.  Coffey described the roles of the agencies involved in the environmental investigation and the role of the US FWS in particular.  He further detailed how the delayed fish kill was consistent with other ethanol spills and noted that this could be attributed to the biodegradation of ethanol removing dissolved oxygen from the water as the spill plume moved downstream.  Coffey further elaborated that ethanol spills appear to cause both immediate toxicity at the point of release (from acetaldehyde and/or ethanol toxicity) as well as delayed drop in dissolved oxygen as total organic carbon and bacteria counts rise.

 

As Lauder had done, Coffey emphasized the importance of learning from this event, in order to be best prepared for any similar events in the future.  

 

Rob McCaskey asked whether dead fish observed near the Mississippi River actually died further upstream and then floated to the Mississippi River.  Coffey replied that this appeared to be the case. 

Coffey indicated that US FWS was involved in sampling fish, beginning at Colona, Illinois and moving upstream.   He added that several agencies were involved in response and monitoring, as well as the rail company.  Coffey also observed that the flood stage levels on the Rock River may actually have helped reduce the fish kill by diluting the concentration of the ethanol.  

 

In terms of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA), Coffey noted that US FWS had to do a lot of research to become familiar with ethanol.  He added that it was difficult to look for ethanol breakdown products in dead fish and that multiple data sets had to be examined.  Coffey indicated that one of the questions to be answered in the NRDA was whether the ethanol itself reached concentrations sufficient to cause fish kills.

 

Morrison asked Coffey whether any testing for dissolved oxygen (DO) was done on the day of the incident.  Coffey replied that DO testing was done, but that it was behind the plume and as such DO levels looked normal. 

 

Coffey explained that there is still a lot to be learned in incidents involving ethanol, including answering questions as to what typical levels of breakdown products are in tissue.   He noted that a time delay is involved in regard to the depletion of oxygen, as it takes some time for bacteria to consume the oxygen.  Coffey indicated that there are really two phases of impact associated with an ethanol spill: 1) initially, a toxic phase due to high concentrations of ethanol, and 2) later, the lowering of DO due to the action of bacteria – and the resulting fish kill.  He emphasized that the delayed fish kill is unique “signature” of an ethanol spill and that a previous spill in Kentucky had provided information to help understand the downstream effects of an ethanol spill. 

 

Lauder added that, in this case, there were also no other likely explanations for the cause of the fish kill.  Coffey concurred that other land uses were examined to see if there were any other likely explanations, but none were found.

 

Coffey made the following additional observations about the incident:

 

§         Care needs to be taken in the preservation of fish samples by freezing, as the freezing process may make it more difficult to determine cause.

§         Aeration may help save fish, but it is still to be determined if this is truly the case and, if so, how it would be implemented.

§         The decay of dead fish will also consume a lot of oxygen and may cause a secondary “crash” of DO levels.  There may also be related issues of botulism and biofouling as a result of the fish kill.

§         River flows and flood stage will greatly affect the outcomes in an incident. 

 

Haden asked what effect temperature has on the situation.  Coffey and Aleshia Kenney replied that warm water holds less oxygen than cold water.  Haden also asked whether cool water would also slow bacterial action.  Coffey and Kenney affirmed that this would be the case.

 

Coffey indicated that he would also like to understand more how response funds could be accessed for this and similar incidents.  He noted that, in this case, the ethanol involved was fuel-ready and as such would have made the situation eligible for this funding.

 

Tucker asked whether the US Coast Guard (USCG) had responded to the incident.  McCaskey replied that the USCG had been informed that the product was burning and that the incident was 50 miles from a navigable water.  He added that the incident also occurred within USCG’s Chicago area of operations. 

 

Coffey next presented ideas for an ethanol response field kit that would contain sampling and documentation supplies appropriate for investigation of an ethanol spill.

 

Coffey offered the following as lessons learned from the incident:

 

§         Pay special attention to transportation accidents involving large quantities of ethanol near water.

§         Get natural resource staff and the RP out immediately in downstream wetlands, streams, and river reaches to move species that are sensitive to low dissolved oxygen and to create dissolved oxygen refugia.

§         Distribute fact sheets to the press on ethanol impacts to aquatic life in surface waters.

§         Beware of changing exposure pathways and a shift in the causation logic: first ethanol and/or acetaldehyde toxicity then a DO crash, with river TOC and bacteria counts going up.

§         Consider the ecological risks from use of fire fighting foams.

 

Lauder indicated that Illinois EPA is adding a one page summary of lessons learned regarding ethanol spills to its contact list.

 

Haden asked what was thought to be the cause of turtle deaths observed in the incident.  Coffey indicated that it may have been from botulism arising from increased bacterial activity or from acetylaldehyde levels, but that it is not exactly clear.  Haden asked if impacts to mussels were observed.  Coffey replied that some beds had been impacted, but that the mechanism of the impact had not been determined.

 

In regard to a separate incident involving an ethanol release in Minnesota, Matt Stokes asked Dave Morrison if any changes in DO were observed at Reno Bottoms during that event.  Morrison replied that in this incident, DO levels had dropped and stayed down, as the event affected a backwater and the ethanol stayed in place for a relatively long time.

 

Kenney noted that, in the Rock River incident, some fish were successfully revived when they were removed from the River and placed in a tank of clean water.  Stokes asked whether any impact to vegetation was observed in the incident.  Kenney replied that none had been observed.  Lauder and Steve Faryan added that the rapid current present on the River may have helped push the spill past vegetation relatively rapidly.  Kenney noted that impacts to fish groups residing throughout the water column were observed, though bottom feeders may have been most impacted.

 

Haden asked whether there was any sense of how fish populations were recovering.  Kenney replied that the recover of populations appeared fairly good at this point.  Faryan noted that possibilities brought out in this incident for the potential use of aeration in response.

 

Pool 7 Oil Spill Case Study: Implications for Communication

Morrison provided the details of a June 2009 incident on Pool 7, involving the presence of an observed oil sheen.  He described how the incident began with citizen reports of a sheen to USACE, followed by an observation by Long Term Resource Program water quality staff, and then engagement by agencies (including Wisconsin DNR, Minnesota PCA, US FWS, USCG) and notification to the National Response Center (NRC).   Morrison noted that there had been some confusion about contacts with USACE and that NRC notification was made rather late in the process.  He added that there had also been confusion about the source of the spill and the state from which it originated.   Morrison explained that eventually it was determined that: 1) the oil was not recoverable, and 2) there were no oiled wildlife.

 

Morrison noted that by the time the spill reached Lock & Dam 7, it was a light sheen which had been dispersed bank-to-bank.  He summarized by saying that by the end of the day there was light dissipated sheen and no response actions had taken place.  Morrison noted that USCG thought that a recreational vessel may have been responsible, but also later boarded a commercial vessel that had been in the area at the time of the release.  However, he indicated that no conclusive evidence of the source of the release was identified and that no sampling had been done.

 

Morrison commented that ultimately may people wanted to know about the spill and it had been difficult to choose who needed to be notified of the event.  He also noted that reports from the public were subsequently received which indicated that the spill may have been larger than initially believed.

 

Morrison offered the following concluding comments regarding the incident:

 

§         There are two groups on the river who were interested and involved in the incident:  1) responders – who have the response assets to deal with a release, and 2) resource managers – who have the ability to get on the water most quickly. 

§         USCG does have the ability to match a sheen to a source – but that a sample must be collected.  McCaskey added to this that chain of custody must also be maintained in these cases.

§         Sheen reports can sometimes be indicative of larger situations/problems. 

§         Communication in these incidents is very important.

§         An incident action plan (IAP) for Pool 7 may be a useful tool to help organize a response, as it can aid in having the ability to set up incident command (or unified command) very quickly. 

 

McCaskey commented that he had heard two themes in Morrison’s presentation:  1) there was a lack of communication early in the incident, and 2) later, there was too much traffic in communications.  He added that it may have been better to have contacted the NRC earlier in the communication chain.  Morrison replied that MPCA had thought that USACE was contacting the NRC.

 

Jared Angelle noted that USCG is open to using its alert warning system as a way to augment communication in spill incidents.   Faryan said that this type of tool would be one way to modernize the communication approach set up in the UMR Spill Plan. 

 

Preview of 3D Modeling Demonstration

 

Adam Ziegler of USACE gave a brief preview of the 3D modeling demonstration that would take place at the conclusion of the Group’s meeting the following day.  Faryan thanked Ziegler for the opportunity to view this modeling project and noted that current spill modeling capability includes that available through NOAA and the private sector, and that forming additional modeling contacts with USACE is also valuable.  Morrison commented that lockmasters have models available for their use.  Pettis commented that available models do not address travel time directly and that this is also affected by dam settings.  Faryan stated that one of the goals for spill response was to have models that addressed travel time.   Pettis replied that, currently, this could be estimated by elevation changes.

 

Early Warning Monitoring Network Update

 

Faryan commented that work on the network is proceeding under a US EPA Region 5 Regionally Applied Research (RARE) grant, but that this funding has been nearly expended.  Mike Anderson then provided an update on the status of the network.  In particular, he noted that the station originally planned for Lock & Dam 14 had to be relocated to the nearby MidAmerican Power plant, as the Lock & Dam 14 site was in an area frequently exposed to excessive turbidity from shipping traffic.  Anderson reported that Iowa DNR will be able to apply for one more grant of $50,000, but that subsequently funding from this source would be difficult to obtain. 

 

Lauder noted that getting cooperation on a project such as this across state, federal, and regional lines can be difficult.  Jim Silver offered that Anheisher-Busch might be a potential private partner for this in the St. Louis area.  Faryan indicated that those working on the network were interested in seeking the support of new Regional Administrators at US EPA. 

 

Development of Spill Response Cooperatives on the Upper Mississippi River

 

Matt Stokes provided comments on his work to help develop and revitalize spill cooperatives in the Minnesota and Wisconsin portions of the UMR.   He indicated that he was presenting on behalf of CP Rail when discussing these efforts, noting that CP’s interest in cooperatives was in part triggered by incidents that occurred shortly after CP’s acquisition of ICE/DM&E rail.  Stokes recalled that Dale Buckholtz of CP had wanted to explore why more response equipment was not in place, and that he considered building response capability as a “bottom line” issue that was in the best interest of the company. 

 

Stokes next described the efforts he helped initiate in the Red Wing, Minnesota area, where he has acted as a liaison between industry and the city.  He said that the following were among the key players in cooperative development in the Red Wing area:  ADM, Wakota CAER, Artco Barge, rail companies, Xcel Energy, and Dave Morrison of MPCA.  Stokes also observed that one of the reasons Wakota CAER seemed to be successful has been the participation of prominent industry partners.  He said that activities in the Red Wing area have included a kick-off breakfast meeting and an initial effort to identify locations of response equipment.  Stokes did indicate, however, that activity in the Red Wing area has slowed down some and that another meeting would likely be needed to help encourage further work.

 

Stoke next mentioned work done in the LaCrosse, Wisconsin area, noting that there was more complexity in this setting than in Red Wing.  He indicated that he had been working with Keith Butler of LaCrosse County and the Iowa-Minnesota-Wisconsin Tri-State Hazmat Group in this area, adding that the spill response training held in LaCrosse in September 2009 has helped put energy into the process.  However, he added that the real spill which took place shortly after the training revealed that local players can be reluctant to act as “spill response contractors.”

 

In regard to future work on cooperatives, Stokes suggested bringing Winona and other nearby cities into the process.  He also proposed inclusion of other Class 1 railroads and more individuals with local knowledge.  Some of the players Stokes suggested bringing in were:  Midwest Fuels, Kwik Trip, J.F Brennan, and Dairyland Power.

 

Morrison commented that CAER groups need to be industry-led.  He added that, at least on the Minnesota side of the river, there is statutory language that helps support the development of cooperatives and CAER groups. 

 

Faryan agreed that it is important to support the development of cooperatives and CAER groups, noting that US EPA could potentially help to support training for such groups.  He also emphasized that there is little response equipment available on much of the UMR.

 

Stokes asked if it was possible for a CAER group to become an oil spill response organization (OSRO).   McCaskey replied that it would be possible, though the rules regarding this are fairly strict. 

 

Morrison observed that a CAER group has more associated administrative burdens than a cooperative.  Stokes observed that one of the challenges was to identify funding to support cooperatives and CAER groups.  Faryan noted that it might be possible to supply a cooperative with a USCG response trailer.

 

Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge Contingency Planning

 

Faryan provided a brief update regarding ongoing efforts to develop contingency planning tools for the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge (UMRNW&FR).  He indicated that work is continuing in Pool 7 and that the final product will include an overview narrative providing a physical description of the pool and a summary of primary response considerations.  Faryan added that the next UMR pool to be addressed in this effort is Pool 13 and that work in this pool would commence in the spring of 2010.

 

Lauder asked whether response strategies had been developed in the Peoria area.  Barbi Lee replied that these had not yet been developed. 

 

Faryan noted that, in scoping future response strategy work, it may be possible to complete field work for two UMR pools in one day. 

 

Morrison added the Pool 7 work will include the development of a simplified incident action plan (IAP) to accompany the response strategies and other materials.  Stokes suggested that perhaps the IAP could address some of the variables that might affect response on Pool 7, such as currents and weather conditions. 

 

Agency and Other Updates

Illinois

Lauder reported that IL EPA is aware of approximately 240 incidents per month, both large and small.  He also noted that the “Biowatch” program in the Chicago area is installing improved “3rd generation” monitors which include both an improved turnaround time and a greater sensitivity/ability to detect DNR strands.  Theresa Holz added that this type of monitor is also being installed in the Indianapolis/Marion County areas of Indiana.  Haden noted that the Biowatch program had been featured in a recent USA Today front page story.  Jim Silver commented that Biowatch had been employed for the recent major league baseball All-Star Game in St. Louis.

 

Minnesota

Morrison noted that MPCA is continuing to put many staff through ICS training, as staff in a variety of program areas may be called on to participate in a situation where ICS is being employed.  Lauder asked how many MPCA staff were NIMS compliant and what the targets were for ICS training in the agency.  Morrison indicated that 10 MPCA staff were fully NIMS compliant and that currently approximately 100 staff had completed ICS 100 and 700.  He added that the agency’s target is to eventually have 300 staff completing ICS 100, 700, and 800.

 

Iowa

Tucker reported that budget cuts were a dominant theme at Iowa DNR and that layoffs may be occurring in the near future.  He next highlighted the Iowa Hazmat conference taking place in Ames, Iowa on October 22-23, 2009.  Tucker also commented on the success of recent TRANSCAER events in Iowa and Missouri, noting that an 11-state national tour would be taking place in the summer of 2011.

 

Missouri

Gann noted that departures have been impacting Missouri DNR’s response staff, with 3 of 25 employees having departed, including two OSCs.  He also echoed Tucker’s comments in regard to the success of TRANSCAER events, noting that seven events had recently taken place in Missouri, with 550-600 total attendees at these events.

 

US EPA Region 5

Faryan said that the newly updated Region 5 RCP/ACP would be discussed in further detail the next day, so that he would focus on other Region 5 items in his report.  He commented that the update of Region 5’s Inland Sensitivity Atlas was nearly complete for Michigan and Minnesota, and that the next states to be updated would be Illinois and Ohio.  Faryan also commented that Region 5 is engaged in some unannounced inspections, as well as FRP and SPCC seminars. 

 

Lauder asked whether Faryan had any further information available regarding a proposed Region 5 Homeland Security Summit.  Faryan and Lee indicated that they did not have any information regarding this event.  Faryan did note that the upcoming Region 5 RRT meeting would be taking place in Minneapolis on October 20-21, 2009. 

 

US EPA Region 7

Jim Silver reported that the Region 7 RRT meeting would be taking place in St. Louis on November 2-3, 2009.  He also noted a recent incident where barge cleaning had resulted in a release to the sewer system and ultimately to a waste water treatment plant, adding that fines and prison time resulted.  McCaskey concurred that this had been a very significant incident.

 

USACE

Frank Catalano noted that both the Rock Island and St. Louis Districts had been very busy with both levee repair and work in New Orleans.  

 

The meeting adjourned for the day at 5:00 p.m. and reconvened at 8:00 a.m. on October 7, 2009.

 

Summary of National Response Center Reports for the UMR

 

Faryan distributed a summary of UMR-related spill reports to the National Response Center (NRC) for the period of April 26-September 26, 2009.  The distribution of the report led to a brief discussion of how states receive reports from the NRC.  Gann indicated that reports are emailed from the NRC to one address at Missouri DNR, and that initial email is subsequently distributed to DNR staff.  Lauder reported that, in Illinois, NRC reports are faxed to the duty officer.  Morrison indicated that Minnesota also receives NRC reports via fax to the duty officer.  Angelle noted that agencies actually have to pay to receive NRC reports and it was therefore unlikely that NRC reports would be sent to more than one contact point within a state agency. 

 

Elizabeth Komiskey commented that rules to be proposed in the spring would require pipeline companies regulated by the PHMSA to correct volumes reported to the NRC.  Tucker asked if there would be an enforcement component associated with this.  Komiskey replied that she was not sure if there was an associated enforcement component.  Lee asked if the proposal would include language addressing the timing of an update.  Komiskey indicated that the timing would be “as soon as realized.”  Morrison asked if a report would be re-distributed once the new volume information was provided.  Komiskey indicated that this should be the case, but it would be distributed as an update, rather than as a new report.

 

UMR Response Training 

 

Tucker provided a summary of the response training that had taken place in LaCrosse, Wisconsin on September 15-17, 2009.  He noted that a safe boating component focused on boom pulling had been offered for this training, which was an addition to what had been done at similar trainings in the past.  Tucker said that approximately 40 individuals had participated in the safe boating component of the training and 78 individuals in total had participated at some point in the three days of training.  He also reported that there had been good media coverage of the finally.  Tucker commented that following the completion of the training, an actual oil spill had taken place in the area and that several of the training participants ended up responding to this event. 

 

Lauder asked what made this recent training event different or better than other training events.  Tucker responded that the addition of the safe boating component had been beneficial.  Morrison answered that he felt that discussion of ice response was helpful and important.  Tucker added that strong local and industry connections and representation were critical to the success of the workshop. 

 

Reflecting on previous discussions with the Iowa-Minnesota-Wisconsin Tri-State Hazmat Group, Tucker indicated that possibly the next likely location for training would be Dubuque, Iowa.  He also noted that Kansas City could be a potential location for future training events. Faryan thanked all who had contributed to the success of the recent training event.

 

Upper Mississippi River Spill Response Plan

 

Spill Containment Equipment List

The Group discussed the need to update the spill containment equipment list included in the UMR Spill Response Plan and Resource manual, with both Faryan and Silver commenting that the list needed to be updated.  Morrison, Stokes and Kendzierski all indicated a willingness to work on the updating of equipment information in the Minnesota/Wisconsin portion of the UMR, with Stokes noting that a better definition of the “other equipment” category on the list would be helpful.  Lauder commented that local EMAs should be considered in the development of response equipment lists.

 

Compilation of UMR-Relevant Response Techniques

The Group indicated that any list of UMR-relevant response techniques would need to be linked to RCP/ACPs and to applicable tactics manuals.  Faryan suggested that a page or two in the UMR Plan, with appropriate links, should be sufficient.

 

Potential Region 5 RRT Approval of Solidifiers

Lee indicated that language dealing with the approval of solidifiers would be coming before the Region 5 RRT when it met later in October.  Silver asked whether this meant there might be potential pre-approval of solidifiers.  Lee indicated that she would share the language coming before the RRT with the Spills Group.  Lauder commented that a similar request came before Illinois EPA, but that no action had been taken.

 

Volunteer Policy

McCaskey reported that USCG is interested in the possibility for inclusion of language addressing volunteers in sub area and other contingency plans.  He noted that some suggested language for such a section was available in the USCG District 13 plan and could be provided to the Group.  Ramon Mendoza said that this issue had also been discussed in the Quad Cities Sub Area Planning Committee meeting.  Haden concurred and added that re-formatted language would be incorporated in the Quad Cities and St. Louis Sub Area Plans.  Lee indicted she was not sure how this issue would be addressed by the RRT, and that it might be difficult to fit into the discussions at the upcoming RRT meeting.  McCaskey said that USCG will continue to work on the issue and that the Group should expect to hear more on this in the future.

 

Area Maritime Security Committees

Angelle reported on his work with Area Maritime Security Committees and his efforts in the Quad Cities in particular.  He added that port security grants provide a potential avenue for the purchase of equipment related to security and potentially to response efforts.  Angelle additionally provided a brief description of the Joint River Operations Center (JROC) located in the Twin Cities.  Lee asked who is eligible to apply for port security grants.  Angelle replied that in Kansas City, the Twin Cities, and St. Louis the applications come through the Area Maritime Security Committee, but that the Quad Cities is considered an “all other” port and in this case the application does not have to come from the committee.  However, he noted that DHS will definitely consider who is working together in an area when an application is received.

 

Angelle indicated that USCG is trying a new approach in organizing a committee for the Quad Cities and is seeking to identify 10 to 12 individuals to participate in a two to three meetings per year.  He added that USCG is placing emphasis on identifying local individuals for participation.  Haden asked whether representation from areas surrounding the Quad Cities was being sought. Angelle replied that participation by individuals from surrounding areas was welcome, but that the meetings would be held in the Quad Cities.  Lee commented that the availability of grants would be a strong driver for participation and that Angelle should emphasize this in his work to promote the committee.  Angelle noted that one of the areas of emphasis in the grants was to support the on-water capability of local fire departments.

 

UMR Notification Drill

 

Rick Gann expressed interest in having a notification drill before the next meeting of the Group that would affect states further south than other recent UMR notification drills.  Gann and Lauder indicated they would work on the development and execution of a UMR notification drill.

 

Pipelines/UMR Pipeline Crossings

 

PHMSA Pipeline Programs Overview

Elizabeth Komiskey of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Central Region Community Action and Technical Services (CATS) program gave a presentation covering the following topics related to pipelines:

 

§         PHMSA Overview

§         Pipeline Inspections

§         National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS), including the use of online pipeline mapping tools available at:  www.npms.phmsa.dot.gov

§         Spill Response Plans

§         Public Awareness Program Requirements

§         PHMSA’s Role in a Pipeline Incident

 

Following her presentation, Komiskey asked if there were any questions from the Group.  Haden asked what the process was for updating plans when the ownership of a pipeline changed.  Komiskey replied that the plan stays in place with the new owners updating information as needed.  She added that it is the owner’s responsibility to make sure the plan is updated.  Komiskey added that the plans must include drill procedures and that plans are available upon request.  Lee asked whether these plans are typically in paper or electronic formats.  Komiskey replied that plans were in both paper and electronic formats, though the paper plans can become quite sizeable. 

 

Komiskey briefly reviewed public awareness requirements for pipelines and emphasized that one of the main goals of these requirements is to reduce third-party damages.  Morrison asked whether a pipeline company would need to contact the appropriate state’s “one-call” line before they began work on their own pipelines.   Komiskey replied that this notification would be needed. 

 

Komiskey encouraged the members of the Group to be engaged in pipeline issues and offered PHMSA’s assistance to the Group members.  She added that although PHMSA does not have jurisdiction once a spill occurs, they are willing to provide support and information during a response.  She indicated that both she and Harold Winnie of PHMSA’s Kansas City office would be appropriate contact points for the Group.  Komiskey also encouraged group members to contact PHMSA if they became aware of a situation involving pipelines where there was a concern of noncompliance.

 

Angelle asked if PHMSA had a security division.  Komiskey replied the PHMSA has individuals engaged in engineering and security. Tucker commented on the engagement of Iowa DNR with the Iowa Pipeline Association and TRANSCAER.   Gann indicated that individuals from the pipeline sector had been engaged in TRANCAER events in Missouri, and that there had been particular interest in the pipeline transmission of anhydrous ammonia.

 

Faryan asked if there are any requirements which require shutoffs to be placed in a certain proximity to a river such as the Mississippi River.  Komiskey replied that there are requirements for the placement of shutoffs generally, but nothing that applies specifically to the River.  She added that suction can be applied to hold back product in cases where shutoffs are not close to the point of release.  Komiskey also noted that most valves are operated remotely, rather than requiring the presence of pipeline company personnel on site.

 

Morrison asked whether pipeline plans typically contain recommendations on the specifics of response.  Komiskey replied that plans are usually not that specific.  Faryan asked whether PHMSA/DOT had any jurisdiction over underground storage. Komiskey replied that her agency did not deal with underground storage.  Mendoza asked if PHMSA/DOT jurisdiction did extend to pipelines running over or under rivers.  Komiskey replied that her agency did have jurisdiction in these cases.

 

Jurisdiction at Complex Facilities

Building on Komiskey’s information, Lee next gave a short presentation on jurisdictional issues at complex facilities where US EPA and US DOT, as well as USCG, may be involved.  Komiskey encouraged joint inspections at complex facilities, with all regulating entities involved. 

Area and Sub Area Planning Updates

Haden provided a brief update on the Quad Cities sub area and Jaci Ferguson provided details on efforts to establish at “Bootheel” sub area which would reach from the Cape Girardeau area down to the Missouri state line.  Silver suggested that it might be appropriate to have the Bootheel sub area reach up as far as the St. Louis area.  Hokanson also provided a brief report on the update of the Minneapolis-St. Paul sub area plan.

 

Lee indicated that a letter of promulgation for the Region 5 RCP/ACP was being targeted for signature at the upcoming Region 5 RRT meeting.  She then walked through the new online Region 5 RCP/ACP.  

 

Action Items

 

Hokanson listed the following action items that had been identified by the group during their discussions:

 

  • Send-out of meeting presentations to the Group.
  • Work with Mendoza to distribute ethanol and biodiesel facility guides to interested members of the Group.
  • Pursue a conversation with the Tri-State Hazmat Group regarding future training collaboration.
  • Work on updating the inventory of spill containment equipment in the UMR Spill Plan.
  • Provide information regarding potential Region 5 RRT action on solidifiers to the Group.
  • Work on a UMR notification drill affecting Illinois and Missouri (at minimum).
  • Work with Angelle on possible notification enhancements.
  • Distribute draft USCG language regarding volunteers to the Group.

 

Next Meeting

The Group agreed that its next meeting should take place in LaCrosse, Wisconsin in the spring of 2010.  Hokanson indicated that he would send an email to determine a date for the meeting.

 

The meeting of the UMR Hazardous Spills Coordination Group was adjourned 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 7, 2009.