The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s David M. Moore recently traveled to Seattle, Wash., for a meeting of the Arctic Council Emergency Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (EPPR) Working Group. The EPPR Working Group addresses various aspects of prevention, preparedness, and response to environmental emergencies in the Arctic. Working Group members, which include representatives from eight member nations, share information on best practices and conduct projects to develop guidance and risk assessment methodologies, response exercises, and training specific to the Arctic.
During the meeting, members reviewed recent spill response exercises, reviewed progress on ongoing Arctic projects and voted on proposals for new projects. For example, Norway, Denmark, and the United States (BSEE) will co-lead an effort to produce a circumpolar oil spill response gap analysis that will assess response strategies and their effectiveness in seasonal arctic ocean conditions. BSEE will also serve as lead on a new project proposal regarding the development of a database of arctic oil spill response assets. The meeting also included a progress update on a guidebook for oil spill response in ice and snow conditions, a project initiated by the International Maritime Organization.
Moore, Chief of BSEE’s Oil Spill Preparedness Division, as a member of the U.S. delegation to EPPR, represents BSEE at the EPPR meetings. The EPPR Working Group is one of six working groups of the Arctic Council, which was established in 1996 to foster international co-operation on environmental protection and sustainable development in the Arctic. The United States will assume Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in April 2015.