The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) recently benefitted from a short but critical oil spill response training programme from Apache Corporation.
Apache is a Houston based multinational with operations in the UK, Egypt and Suriname. During an exclusive interview, CDC Head, Colonel Kester Craig told Kaieteur News that this training was provided free of cost.
The official said that a team from Apache was in Guyana since Wednesday with the training coming to a conclusion yesterday. He also noted that a few weeks back, a team from CDC had visited the Apache operations in Suriname to get a firsthand look of their set up and response systems there.
Colonel Craig added, “From the recently completed training session, I got a better understanding of their response system and capabilities and it was an excellent networking opportunity for our team.”
In the meantime, Colonel Craig noted that work will continue ahead on the completion of the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan which is already 90 percent complete.
Colonel Craig had said during a previous interview that the most important part of developing any disaster oil spill plan is the planning process. “So one of the first things you do is to identify a team…We developed this process whereby we identify a team and go through the process weekly with the members. So from February to July last, we met almost every Tuesday and worked on that. We went through every single step of the plan. And we did it that way so that each agency can understand what their role is….”
The official had explained that the team consists of the CDC, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Coast Guards, Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) and the Department of Energy.
Colonel Craig had also explained that GGMC will be tasked with offshore monitoring while GEA will monitor onshore facilities such as the shore bases. He explained that the EPA will be in charge of identifying sensitive areas that are likely to be affected while being part of the national assessment team. The Coast Guards will be tasked with deploying booms and other response materials. MARAD will be working with the vessels while the Department of Energy will function as the main liaison for the operators.
The CDC head further stated that the responsibilities will continue to be tweaked where necessary as they approach the completion of the document. When the plan is finished, Craig said that other stakeholders would be brought in for consultations such as the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture, the oil companies, the Protected Areas Commission, the Guyana Revenue Authority, Customs, Immigration, the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Fire Service and the Guyana Marine Turtle Conservation Society.
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