State has plan that deals with oil spill

Published 10:39 pm Sunday, June 13, 2010


Contributing Editor
North Carolina has a plan for dealing with the possible incursion of the BP Deep Horizons oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico into the state’s coastal waters.
That plan may be found on the N.C. Department of Crime Control &Public Safety’s Web page under the heading for the Division of Emergency Management, said department spokesman Ernie Seneca. The department’s Web page may be found at
To find the plan, visit and review pages 433-480.
The plan was developed in the “remote chance some of this oil will make its way up here,” Seneca said in an interview with the Washington Daily News.
Briefings for mayors in the state and state legislators are tentatively scheduled for Tuesday in Raleigh, Seneca noted. He was not sure when or where those briefings would take place.
“I would certainly like to know about that,” Washington Mayor Archie Jennings said Friday.
Jennings said he had not received notification of the tentative briefing for mayors as of Friday. Seneca told the Daily News he would make sure Jennings received information about the briefing for mayors as soon as details were finalized.
Jennings said Washington would like to position itself as a staging area for emergency-management responses in eastern North Carolina, especially considering the city may build a new public-safety facility that includes an emergency-operations center.
Meanwhile, the state is preparing to act if oil threatens its waters.
“North Carolina has an oil spill-response plan that defines roles and responsibilities for responding agencies,” Seneca said. “The state of North Carolina is closely monitoring BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. State and federal agencies are coordinating plans to be fully prepared to respond in case the oil reaches our state. The U.S. Coast Guard is currently projecting that there is a remote chance that the oil could reach this far north and threaten North Carolina’s coast.”
North Carolina’s plan makes the Coast Guard the lead agency in charge of oil threatens coastal waters, with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the lead agency in charge if oil threatens inland waters. The N.C. Department of Crime Control &Public Safety, which includes the Division of Emergency Management, is the lead state-response agency. The N.C. State Emergency Response Team, headed by the state’s emergency-management director, assists federal agencies, coordinates state preparations and response activities and works with local communities and responders.
Other state response-agencies include the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
By clicking on the Gulf Oil Spill tab on the department’s Web site, users will find another Web page, which is titled North Carolina Prepares for Effects from Gulf Oil Spill.
Information that will be posted on that Web page includes news releases from the department and other responding agencies, fact sheets, a list of scientific experts on more, according to Seneca.