Sage Assists in Emergency Management of Gulf Oil Spill
Sage Management is providing subject matter expert (emergency management) and modeling and simulation support to The Greater Lafourche Port Commission (GLPC), Port Fourchon and Lafourche Parish in response of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Port Fourchon is a critical national infrastructure asset and part of the defense industrial base. The facility manages logistical support for offshore drilling operations and supports 50% of the US oil importation via the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP LLC). This area is largely ground zero for the spill.
The GLPC and port operations needed assistance in collecting data to assist in formulating a response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of April 20. The GLPC had recently installed a port-wide command, control and communications system (GLPC4 Platform) at Port Fourchon in March of 2010. However, little information had as yet been integrated from federal, state and local sources.
Sage was called on to provide technical expertise in bridging federal, state and local sources and establishing communication channels with local emergency operation centers and port commission operations. This direct support provided critical data feeds to populate the GLPC4 Platform and assisted the parish president and port executives to make informed decisions in managing the spill.
In addition to the obvious environmental impact caused by the spill, toxic vapor emissions in the parish and port area are of increasing concern. To model worst-case scenarios, Sage has been collecting and verifying sensor and emission sources to provide input to dispersion models.
Locations of concern including breaches, decontamination sites, reclamation locations, staging areas and critical infrastructure locations are logged with GPS location and digital photos and posted to the GLPC4 Platform. Incident reports of oil on shore, marshes, etc., are verified and documented in the same manner.
The clean-up and emergency response effort will be ongoing as physical or environmental changes occur. Sage will continue to support GLPC with emergency management, planning and dispersion modeling expertise.
Mike O’Dell of Sage Management is on site at Port Fourchon and provided the background and photos for this article.