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EPA to hold emergency response training sessions, regional response team meeting on Guam/ Training will focus on monitoring equipment used at hazardous materials spills

Release Date: 10/21/2008
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(10/21/08) HONOLULU – Emergency response staff from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Pacific Southwest regional office will be holding two emergency response training sessions for Guam first responders on Nov. 4-7 in conjunction with the United States Coast Guard and Oceania Regional Response Team meeting in Guam on Nov. 7.

The hazardous materials response training will cover the operation, maintenance, and repair of equipment presently available to Guam first responders. The session will also include hands-on exercises in identifying unknown hazards, such agriculture chemicals and pesticides, hospital radiation sources, drug labs and other situations where chemicals are improperly disposed or buried. This training session will also be held in CNMI the following week.

“Training is the cornerstone for being prepared to respond to the various hazardous materials situations that may arise day-to-day,” said Daniel Meer, Superfund Assistant Director for Emergency Response, Preparedness and Prevention in the EPA's Pacific Southwest region. “USEPA welcomes the opportunity to work and train with our partners in Guam, to help ensure that they are ready to respond when an incident occurs.”

The second training event will be a Natural Resource Damage Assessment workshop with the support of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It will cover the basics of natural resource damage assessment and restoration of the resources of Guam and CNMI, and provide a practical working knowledge of damage assessment principles and their application to oil and chemical spills, vessel groundings, and similar incidents. Discussions and products from the workshop are intended to assist agencies in developing a NRDA program for Guam and CNMI.

The hazardous materials response training is being hosted by the Guam Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Defense in conjunction with the Guam National Guard’s 94th Civil Support Team and will be held at the Guam National Guard Academy facilities. The NRDA workshop will be held at the Hilton on Tumon Bay.

The Oceania Regional Response Team meeting will be held on Nov. 7. The ORRT provides federal, state, territorial and local government agencies with the means to participate in response and preparedness activities related to pollution incidents. The ORRT jurisdiction includes Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, CNMI, and other Pacific Island territories and nations.

For more information on the ORRT visit: http://www.orrt.nrt.org/

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