Our Vision: No spilled oil
The Oil Spill Task Force is an organization comprised of representatives from state and provincial environmental agencies in the Pacific coastal area. We collect and share data on oil spills, coordinate oil spill prevention projects, and promote regulatory safeguards. Our mission is to improve prevention, preparation, and response to oil spills on a state and provincial level.
Several Current Task Force Projects:
Conducting Virtual Drills and Exercises – Lessons Learned. During the pandemic, most jurisdictions were faced with shifting to virtual drills and exercises. This forced both plan-holders and drill planners to think creatively about how to carry out exercises that typically involve groups of people working in-person. The Task Force members compiled a document containing a list of lessons learned (pdf) during a year of virtual drills, and discussed these and other challenges and opportunities at the 2021 Annual Meeting.
Abandoned and Derelict Vessels (ADVs) — In 2018, the Task Force launched a workgroup to address the ubiquitous problem of abandoned and derelict vessels in waterways across our jurisdictions. The workgroup set out to understand the extent of the causes of ADVs, and to develop a model “Blue Ribbon” program that addresses six core elements: authority, funding, removal and deconstruction, prevention and public outreach/education. The workgroup completed the program in fall 2019 and it is available here (pdf).
In 2021, NOAA launched a series of webinars on Abandoned and Derelict Vessels called “Salvaging Solutions to Abandoned and Derelict Vessels”. Every fourth Wednesday of the month, the webinar will feature experts on a topic related to abandoned and derelict vessels (ADVs). The Task Force Blue Ribbon Program was featured on the program. More information on the 9-part series can be found here.
Oil Spill database — In 2002, the Task Force began collecting data on spills greater than a barrel (42 gallons) in AK, CA, HI, OR and WA. In 2017, we also began tracking the number of spills of less than a barrel, and will continue to include small spills in our reports going forward. The current oil spill data report is available here (pdf).
The Task Force is partnering with NOAA to add over a decade of Task Force oil spill data to the NOAA’s Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA), an online mapping tool that is easy-to-use for environmental responders and decision makers. Click here for the oil spill data layers.
Our 2019-2025 Strategic Plan
Task Force members developed a new strategic plan to guide our work for the next six year. The plan focuses on 6 core goals:
- Adapt to changes in oil movement and risks
- Advance readiness and capacity to respond to oil spills
- Deepen our partnerships to make better decisions and expand our knowledge
- Build and enhance visibility and relevancy of the Task Force
- Nurture our organizational health