New interagency effort launched to collect ideas for spill response in Gulf
By Kay Cashman, Greening of Oil Staff Report
The official website of the Deepwater Horizon Unified Command posted a press release June 4 that said a new effort to collect and review oil spill response solutions from scientists and vendors had been created.
“The Interagency Alternative Technology Assessment Program workgroup, newly established by the National Incident Commander for the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, announced here Friday a new effort to collect and review oil spill response solutions from scientists and vendors,” the release said.
“The Coast Guard's Research and Development Center, in collaboration with interagency partners, issued a Broad Agency Announcement calling for the submission of white papers that cover: oil sensing improvements to response and detection; oil wellhead control and submerged oil response; traditional oil spill response technologies; alternative oil spill response technologies; and oil spill damage assessment and restoration.”
Same phone number BP has been using
Greening of Oil found no such announcement on the site, but it did find this link to the USCG’s Research and Development Center in the press release more useful.
The only phone number in the release was BP’s general response line in Houston, which is also used to submit alternative response technology, services or products: (281) 366-5511. (But keep reading, as we did eventually find a better website address and phone numbers.)
The Interagency Alternative Technology Assessment Program, or IATAP, and the USCG’s Research and Development Center, or RDC, will “screen and triage (sort) submissions based on technical feasibility efficacy and deployability. This will be a federal process to ensure a fair, systematic, responsive and accountable review of alternative response technologies by interagency experts,” the release said.
The initial screening will result in “one of three determinations: the white paper has a potential for immediate benefit to the oil spill response effort; the white paper submission needs more detailed investigation or evaluation by the appropriate government agency; or the white paper submission does not support this incident.”
The IATAP workgroup, established by Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander, includes the USCG, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Interior, Minerals Management Service, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Agriculture.
The RDC, located in New London, Conn., is part of the U.S. Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate's Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, or RDT&E, program. The Acquisition Directorate has been supporting the response to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill with an on-site subject matter expert who provides guidance on in-situ burns, dispersant and sorbent boom use.
The RDT&E Program's Fire and Safety Test Detachment in Mobile, Ala., is coordinating local logistical support for volunteers in the Gulf Coast region.
The RDC also participates in the interagency Flow Rate Technical Group, helping provide the latest scientifically validated information about the amount of oil flowing from the BP-operated Mississippi Canyon 252 Macondo exploration well in the Gulf of Mexico.
Thirty years of oil spill prevention, response experience
The RDC is the USCG's sole facility performing research, development, and test and evaluation in support of its major missions, including oil spill prevention and response. It has investigated systems and technologies to manage oil spills for over 30 years.
The RDC’s research and development efforts have focused primarily on management of equipment, personnel, and logistics resources during major oil spills. However, the agency also conducts research and investigates technologies to:
• find, identify, and recover heavy oil that may not float on the surface;
• detect oil or hazardous materials that cannot be seen due to murky water, nighttime, or weather conditions;
• help quickly identify hazards to personnel and the public, and;
• evaluate a potential oil spill in the Arctic offshore.
Per the June 4 article posted at greeningofoil.com, Daren Beaudo, a BP press officer for Deepwater Horizon Incident Response, told Greening of Oil that BP has received “over 110,000 calls” to its helpline, (281) 366-5511.
“Of those, over 31,600 have been suggestions and ideas on how to resolve the incident and over 8,000 people have submitted their ideas on paper. Of these, 235 are now being processed through to stage 3 — stage 4 is the field testing stage. Ten percent of those are focused on stopping the leak, the remainder is directed at spill response,” Beaudo said via email.
Eighty people currently staff the call center, he said.
We eventually found it!
Navigating www.FedBizOpps.gov is challenging. Once you get to there, click on the Agencies tab and search for “Coast Guard.”
Scroll down to “Deepwater Horizon Response,” click on it and bingo, you’re there. Here’s some of what you will see, along with attachments:
Solicitation Number: HSCG32-10-R-R00019
Agency: Department of Homeland Security
Office: United States Coast Guard (USCG)
Location: Contracting Office, USCG Research and Development Center
Or you can simply use this address. This page provides much better contact information:
Contracting Office Address:
1 Chelsea Street
New London, Connecticut 06320-5506
Place of Performance: Gulf of Mexico and other locations as required.
Primary Point of Contact:
RDC BAA Deepwater Horizon Response
Phone: (860) 271-2807
Secondary Point of Contact:
RDC BAA Deepwater Horizon Response
Phone: (860) 271-2807
For more information contact Kay Cashman at email@example.com
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