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Kanawha Drill to Test Emergency Responders

Release Date: 09/18/2006
Contact Information: EPA: David Sternberg, (215) 814-5548 & Marathon: Angelia Graves, (419) 421-2703

PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. EPA and Marathon Petroleum Company LLC are teaming up to sponsor a drill to test local, state and federal emergency response agencies plans for managing a gasoline spill along the Kanawha River, Tuesday, September 19.

Marathon has volunteered the use of its Charleston Light Products terminal, just across the river from downtown Charleston for the exercise. Emergency responders from Kanawha and Putnam counties, the City of Charleston, the W.Va. Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard and many other agencies, as well as Marathon, will participate.

No actual gasoline will be released during the exercise. The exercise will focus on the planning for a potential tank collapse, which will include scenarios addressing potential impacts on various downstream facilities including public water supply intakes, environmentally- sensitive areas, as well as road closures and evacuation procedures.

The federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990 requires these types of drills on a regular basis. Similar drills have been held elsewhere, but this will be the first EPA spill exercise of its kind in the Charleston area.

The drill, which is expected to include 50 to 100 participants, will be conducted during is part of the EPA Regional Response Team meetings being held at the Holiday Inn Charleston House. The hotel will serve as the main command center for the drill.

Participating agencies will use the drill to evaluate and improve their emergency response plans.