BSEE, NOAA Enhance Response Mapping

press release
Wednesday, February 08, 2012

BSEE and NOAA to complete Arctic oil spill response mapping tool.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced today they are partnering to enhance the Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA®) for the Arctic region by summer 2012. ERMA® is the same interactive online mapping tool used by federal responders during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This effort will help address numerous challenges in the Arctic where increasing ship traffic and proposed energy development are increasing the risk of oil spills and chemical releases.

“Launching this tool for responders, media and the public during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was a groundbreaking technical achievement and one of the most significant contributions NOAA provided to the historic, large-scale response,” said Monica Medina, NOAA principal deputy under secretary for oceans and atmosphere. “Reconfiguring this application to meet the needs of responders in the remote marine Arctic environment could prove to be the
most critical tool in effectively preparing for, responding to, and mitigating situations where limited assets, personnel and facilities exist. We appreciate the Department of the Interior’s willingness to support us in this important effort.”

“This emergency response tool was invaluable when managing the Deepwater Horizon response,” said BSEE Director James A. Watson, who served as the federal on-scene coordinator for the U.S. Coast Guard during the disaster. “Adding this tool to the Arctic region would provide a tremendous boost to the current oil spill response capabilities there. We are very pleased to work with NOAA to provide this enhanced capability to those involved in planning and response activities.”

In developing this project for the Arctic, NOAA, with support from BSEE, will work with state, local and indigenous communities as well as academia and industry to share information on how ERMA® can best support an emergency response and protect the region’s unique lifestyle and resources.

ERMA will bring together all of the available information needed for an effective emergency response in the Arctic. In an emergency situation, ERMA is equipped with near real-time oceanographic observations and weather data from NOAA, and critical information from BSEE and numerous other federal and state response agencies. Responders can further customize the tool with environmental, logistical, and operational data such as fishery closure areas, resources at risk maps, and mariner notices, depending on the need.

ERMA integrates and synthesizes real-time and static data into a single interactive map, providing a quick visualization of the situation and improving communication and coordination among responders and environmental stakeholders. NOAA originally began developing Arctic ERMA to address escalating energy exploration and transportation activity in the region combined with the emerging risk of spills and other accidents.

BSEE is partnering with NOAA to complete the project, with the goal of having the tool available to the response community ahead of any future drilling in federal waters offshore Alaska. When operational, Arctic ERMA will contain information such as the extent and concentration of sea ice, locations of ports and pipelines, and vulnerable environmental resources for spill responders to make rapid, science-informed response decisions.

The Gulf ERMA was developed through a joint partnership between NOAA and the University of New Hampshire's Coastal Response Research Center. The Gulf ERMA was designed by NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration, the University of New Hampshire, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Since 2007, NOAA and the University of New Hampshire’s Coastal Response Research Center have worked with hazardous material response agencies and partners throughout the United States to develop, test, and refine the ERMA® application to meet the needs of various regions. ERMA sites are also in developmental or testing phases for New England, the Caribbean, Pacific Islands, and Pacific Northwest.

The public can view the tool online, which currently covers the Gulf of Mexico region, by visiting

Today’s announcement is part of the ongoing efforts of the Interagency Working Group on Coordination of Domestic Energy Development and Permitting in Alaska, which was established by President Obama in July 2011. Chaired by Department of the Interior Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes, the working group coordinates the efforts of federal agencies responsible for overseeing the safe and responsible development of onshore and offshore energy in Alaska. The group’s goal is to improve the federal government’s efficiency, ensuring that resource development projects in Alaska comply with health, safety, and environmental protection standards while reducing our dependence on foreign oil. For more information, go to

Maritime Today

The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter November 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Windrock Names Kelleher Global Business Development Manager

Edward P. Kelleher will be assuming the new role of Global Business Development Manager – Diesel, effective December 1st.   In this role, Mr. Kelleher will be

Canada to Aid Developing Nations Fight Climate Change

Canada will provide aid to developing countries to combat climate change, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Friday ahead of talks on global warming,

Sandra Weakens to Tropical Storm off Mexico's Coast

Hurricane Sandra weakened to a tropical storm on Friday and was expected to continue losing strength as it approached Mexico's Pacific coast, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.


Lighter, Longer-lasting Laminate from Dimension-Polyant

Dimension-Polyant, part of the DEUTSCHE YACHTEN working group, has developed a longer-lasting but lighter surface laminate for the discerning owner and skipper,

Extended Warranty from Yanmar for Sailboat Engines

Yanmar Marine International B.V. has introduced an extended 3 years’ period of YANMAR Limited Warranty for Sailboat Engine Models. This extended warranty of

Damen Marine Components Opens Jiangyin Plant

Damen Marine Components (DMC) is proud to announce the opening of its brand new facility in Jiangyin, China.Those present at the opening ceremony included CEO


Canada to Aid Developing Nations Fight Climate Change

Canada will provide aid to developing countries to combat climate change, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Friday ahead of talks on global warming,

Sandra Weakens to Tropical Storm off Mexico's Coast

Hurricane Sandra weakened to a tropical storm on Friday and was expected to continue losing strength as it approached Mexico's Pacific coast, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Gates to Launch Mega Clean Tech Initiative

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates will launch a multi-billion-dollar clean energy research and development initiative on Monday, the opening day of the U.N. climate change summit in Paris,

Government Update

SSA Welcomes Decision To Extend BEO

The Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) has welcomed the decision by Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry to extend the Competition (Block Exemption

Moore Stephens Highlights Potential Tax Issues for Shipping

As part of the Government’s drive to encourage voluntary compliance with the tax rules, it will legislate to introduce a new requirement that large businesses

U.S. Ups Philippines Aid as South China Sea Turmoil Builds

The United States has raised its military aid to the Philippines this year to $79 million, the U.S. ambassador said on Wednesday, as tension rises in the region

Software Solutions

Raytheon Anschütz Succeeds in SYNTACS SAT

Raytheon Anschütz, a leading integrator of naval integrated bridge systems, has successfully completed the Sea Acceptance Test (SAT) for the Synapsis Tactical Command

Deltamarin to Designs First LNG Handysize Bulk Carriers

Deltamarin Ltd proudly announces that it has signed a contract to design the world’s first LNG handysize bulk carriers, which will point the way towards greener shipping of commodities.

Wärtsilä's' Digital Services for Performance Enhancement

Wärtsilä, a global leader in complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets, launches a new service portfolio, Wärtsilä Genius services to help

Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Pipelines Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1204 sec (8 req/sec)