MassDEP Exercise

For Immediate Release

Date:               June 7, 2017                                                                            Contact:


Summary:      The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is sponsoring a full-scale oil spill response training exercise in Harwich on June 12, 2017. The exercise will include a classroom session, equipment familiarization and on-water containment boom deployment.

Keywords:  Environmental Preparedness; Interoperability; Interagency Cooperation; Spill Containment; Geographic Response Plans

Additional Resources:

Details:  Oil Spill Response Training Exercise set for June 12 in Harwich, Herring River.  Through the Commonwealth’s Marine Oil Spill Prevention and Response Program, MassDEP has pre-positioned oil spill response trailers in 70 coastal communities, including Harwich and Dennis, and developed Geographic Response Plans (GRPs) that identify sensitive areas to protect in the event of an oil spill.

The following agencies will be involved in this training: MassDEP, Harwich Fire Department, Dennis Fire Department, Harwich Harbormaster, Dennis Harbormaster, Chatham Harbormaster, Barnstable County Sheriff’s Department, Barnstable County All Hazards Incident Management Team (BCHIMT), Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, United States Coast Guard, Nuka Research and Planning Group and Moran Environmental Recovery.

The objectives of the training are to demonstrate the ability to deploy oil spill equipment utilizing common GRP tactics, assemble a spill response organization utilizing the Incident Command System and demonstrate the ability of effective communication interoperability between multiple agencies.

The classroom portion introduces the participants to Geographic Response Plans, booming tactics, Incident Command and Control, and Spill Management and Safety procedures.  Immediately following the classroom portion, personnel are familiarized with the utilization of the oil spill equipment in the trailer. The final phase of the drill will take place at the mouth of the Herring River where containment boom will be deployed. Once the boom deployment has been completed, an oil surrogate material (peat moss) will be released to test the effectiveness of the GRP tactic.

The BCHIMT will use this exercise to practice their techniques for incident management and long-range planning. The Department of Fire Services Rehabilitation Unit will be at the scene to assist in rehabilitation of personnel participating in the exercise and also for familiarization of the unit’s capabilities.  The Sheriff’s Department Command Post will provide communications and incident management support, and will work in conjunction with the Sheriff’s drone to provide aerial reconnaissance of the exercise.

Interview Opportunities:  Multiple opportunities day of drill

Contact Information:
Harwich Fire – Deputy Chief LeBlanc
MassDEP – Julie Hutcheson