Coast Guard members from the Office of Incident Management and Preparedness Policy attended the EPPR meeting in Malmö, Sweden to continue work on matters related to marine environmental response and search and rescue in the Arctic marine environment. The EPPR focuses much of its attention on exercising the Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic (MOSPA Agreement). The objective of the MOSPA Agreement is to strengthen cooperation, coordination and mutual assistance among the Parties on oil pollution preparedness and response in the Arctic to protect the marine environment from pollution by oil.
Keynote speaker Mr. Mike Emerson, director of Marine Transportation Systems for the Coast Guard, discussed some of the issues associated with Arctic operations, such as limited infrastructure and the harsh environment, and how regulations and technical advancements will impact commercial waterways management.
Increased commercial maritime activity in the Arctic region requires enhanced spill response planning and preparedness in order to mitigate the challenges of oil spill response in the Arctic. Representatives from all eight Arctic member states work within various forums and working groups to mitigate risks and ensure safe, secure and environmentally responsible activities in the Arctic. One of these groups, the Arctic Council’s Working Group on Emergency Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (EPPR), specifically addresses the areas of marine environmental response and search and rescue for the Arctic marine environment.
Read a summary of remarks from a Coast Guard Polar Code expert at a recent symposium. Highlights include the Polar Code boundary, standards for ice strengthening, Polar Water Operations Manual, challenges in polar waters and Arctic marine casualties.
Adm. Paul Zukunft talks about maritime operations in the Arctic, updates on the Coast Guard mission there and the challenges ahead regarding operations in polar waters.