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ARCO PLANS PORT ANGELES OIL SPILL RESPONSE EXERCISE IN MAY TO EVALUATE PREPAREDNESS WITH FEDERAL, STATE & LOCAL AGENCIES

 PORT ANGELES, Wash., March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- An ARCO Marine oil spill training exercise to evaluate the preparedness of its 45-member oil spill response team with federal, state, and local agencies will be held here in May, the Long Beach, Calif.-based company announced today.
 The three-day, table-top exercise and equipment deployment training session, scheduled for May 17-19, will mark ARCO's first spill-related activity in Port Angeles area since its 6,000-barrel oil spill in December 1985.
 ARCO's last spill exercise in the Puget Sound area was in Bellingham in 1991. The company annually rotates its oil spill training between California, Alaska and Washington.
 "We learned a lot about our response capabilities from the 1985 oil spill in Port Angeles and from our Bellingham experience, but we want to periodically refresh our response personnel on all aspects of dealing with an incident in the Puget Sound," said Jerry Aspland, president of ARCO Marine.
 "While we don't anticipate another spill, we realize the importance of being prepared, and since the make-up of our response team changes occasionally, we feel the new members, particularly, will benefit greatly from this experience."
 He added: "Our exercises emphasize training and are designed to help identify potential problem areas in our response capabilities. We strive to improve every time we activate the response team which utilizes the expertise of the company's top crisis managers, environmentalists, cleanup experts, logistical coordinators and communicators."
 In addition to the actual spill exercise, ARCO plans several training sessions where spill team members will be briefed on local issues, new regulations and the latest technology. The drill will emphasize inter-agency relationships and local environmental issues.
 Port Angeles community leaders are also expected to take part in the exercise and training sessions in an effort to create as realistic a spill scenario as possible.
 "One of our goals in this drill will be to help bridge the communication gap that can occur in a crisis situation, especially when those involved are unfamiliar with each other," said Jay Kitchener, ARCO Marine's oil spill response team leader.
 Clallam County officials' primary role in the exercise will be public safety and representing the interests of the community and their constituents. The County plans to test its new predesignated Emergency Center for the first time under oil spill response conditions.
 More than 100 spill responders, representing ARCO, regulatory agencies and crisis response organizations are expected to take part in the exercise. Among the federal and state agencies participating are the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the State of Washington's Department of Ecology and Office of Marine Safety.
 Puget Sound oil spill response cooperative Clean Sound will also play an important role in the exercise and training sessions, as will the newly created, oil industry-funded Marine Spill Response Corp. (MSRC) based in Seattle.
 "The focal point of this exercise will be to evaluate the effectiveness of our team while working with local officials to expand our response expertise," Kitchener added. "We look at this drill and training exercise as a learning experience that benefits everyone."
 -0- 3/8/93
 /CONTACT: Scott Loll of ARCO, 213-486-2562/
 (ARC)


CO: ARCO Marine ST: Washington IN: OIL SU:

KJ-LS -- LA021 -- 4086 03/08/93 14:06 EST
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Date:Mar 8, 1993
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