Upper Mississippi River Hazardous Spills Coordination Group Meeting

April 18-19, 2007

Davenport, Iowa


Meeting Summary




Rodney Tucker


Mike Anderson*

Iowa DNR

Roger Lauder

Illinois EPA

David Morrison

Minnesota PCA

Rick Gann

Missouri DNR

John Whitaker

Missouri DNR

Tom Kendzierski

Wisconsin DNR

Jaime Brown

US EPA Region 5

Steve Faryan

US EPA Region 5

Barbi Lee

US EPA Region 5

Joe Davis

US EPA Region 7

Jim Silver

US EPA Region 7

Daniel Asbach

USCG, Sector Upper Mississippi River

Christopher Pisares

USCG, Quad Cities MSD

Matt Weakley

USCG, District 8

Elizabeth Jones


Richard Beatty

USACE, St. Paul District

Frank Catalano

USACE, St. Louis District

Scott Pettis

USACE, Rock Island District/USCG

John Punkiewicz

USACE, Rock Island District

Gary Haden

McKinzie Environmental

David Fritz

BP America

Tim Ganz*

American Water Company

Dave Kull*

Iowa American Water Company

Dave Hokanson



*Attended on April 19th only.


Call to Order and Introductions

The meeting of the Upper Mississippi River Hazardous Spills Coordination Group (UMR Spills Group) was called to order at 1:05 pm by Rodney Tucker, UMR Spills Group chair.  Introductions of all participants followed.


Approval of Previous Meeting Summary

The summary of the October 24-25, 2006 meeting of the UMR Spills Group was approved.  Hokanson indicated that the summary would now be considered final and posted on the UMRBA website.


Agency Updates

Member agencies provided updates as follows:


Iowa (Rodney Tucker)

Tucker indicated that there may be a reorganization of Iowa DNR in the near future.  He further indicated that there were not many recent spills to report, though there have been many stormwater bypasses.


Minnesota (David Morrison)

Morrison announced that there will be a “boom school” training in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area sponsored by Wakota CAER during June and a refresher training in July.  Hokanson added that registration forms were available, but that the June training dates conflicted with the SONS 2007 exercise dates.


Morrison indicated that there will be a table-top exercise for the upper portion of the Mississippi River this summer, in collaboration with Union Pacific railroad.  Morrison also noted that there will be an exercise involving Canadian Pacific and taking place in Winona, Minnesota.


In reporting recent spill events, Morrison noted that a leaking rail car carrying anhydrous ammonia had been identified in Lake City, Minnesota, though it is possible that the leak had taken place along a larger portion of the rail line.  He added that the response process benefited from participants having recently completed incident command training.


Morrison described the efforts being made with marinas to prepare them for response to small spills.  This has included encouraging marinas to obtain small segments of boom that can be used to help control spills.


Morrison next announced the development of a debris management protocol by Minnesota PCA, which was based in part on experiences from Oklahoma City and September 11th.  The protocol includes the identification of pre-approved disposal sites.  Morrison added that the protocol may have applicability for the SONS 2007 exercise and that he had available DVDs with the protocol for the members of the UMR Spills Group.


Illinois (Roger Lauder)

Lauder reported on a spill event that took place on the Ohio River, near Metropolis.  In this incident, cumene was released from a barge and was detected at a level of 200 ppm at a nearby drinking water intake.  Lauder noted that ORSANCO provided modeling and forecasts of the spill’s plume, and that support teams from both Illinois and Kentucky responded to the spill.


Lauder additionally reported that Illinois is in the process of updating it COOP and COG plans.  He added that IL EPA has approximately 200 staff that are NIMS-compliant and will receive continuing education to remain NIMS-compliant.


Wisconsin (Tom Kendzierski)

Kendzierski reported that Wisconsin is in the process of transitioning its spill reporting system from a paper-based to an electronically-based approach.  He also reported on two spill events that recently took place near the upper tributaries to the Mississippi River, including a 50,000 gallon petroleum spill from an Embridge pipeline in the Eau Claire area and a second, construction-related spill north of Eau Claire.  Kendzierski reported that both spills were successfully contained, though there were some ground water impacts from the second spill.


Missouri (John Whitaker and Rick Gann)

Whitaker indicated that there were not significant spills affecting the UMR since the last meeting.  He did describe a 15,000 gallon propane leak that took place in northern Missouri and was attributed to the freeze/thaw cycle causing a break in a gas transmission line.  Whitaker added that Missouri DNR has been working on a GIS mapping platform similar to the Inland Sensitivity Atlas that would include regulated facilities in Missouri.  He commented that one goal of developing this mapping platform would be to use it during SONS.


Gann noted that Missouri DNR has developed a technical bulletin for response to ethanol spills and that he would provide a web link to the document for the group.


USACE-Rock Island District (Punkiewicz and Pettis)

Punkiewicz reported that there had been a minor spill from the gearhouse at Lock and Dam 11.  He added that communication had worked well in regard to this spill.


USACE-St. Louis District (Catalano)

Catalano commented that there were no spills to report in then St. Louis District since the last meeting.


USACE-St. Paul District (Beatty)

Beatty reported that Shelly Shafer has taken the role of emergency manager in the St. Paul District.  He added that there were no spills or other news to report.


USCG-Quad Cities MSD (Pisares)

Pisares indicated that there were no spills to report since the last meeting.


USCG-St. Louis-Sector UMR (Asbach)

Asbach reported on one spill in pooled water, related to an over-filling situation.  He indicated that booming techniques were used to control the spill.


USCG-District 8 (Weakley)

Matt Weakley introduced himself as the representative of District 8.  He explained that he has filled the (civilian) position formerly occupied by Pat Cuty.


US EPA-Region 5 (Faryan)

Faryan reported on a Magellan pipeline spill and generally active spill response within Region 5 (though no spills were directly related to the UMR).  He added that Region 5 program staff have been working to educate Region 5 senior management staff regarding incident management procedures.


US EPA-Region 7 (Davis)

Davis reported on the sinking of many small boats in the Mississippi River due to heavy snows earlier in the year.  He explained that spills did not turn out to be a major concern in this situation, but that removal of the boats/debris was an issue.


NOAA (Jones)

Jones introduced herself as the new NOAA scientific support coordinator (SSC) with responsibility for the Upper Mississippi River.


BP American (Fritz)

Fritz reported on the merger of BP’s pipeline and terminal businesses into a single entity.


National Response Center (NRC) Report

Faryan distributed a report generated from the NRC, summarizing spills reported from January 2000 to February 2007 for the UMR.  He noted that fuel oil spills were the most commonly reported, with hydraulic and lubricating oil spills also accounting for many of the reported incidents.  Faryan added that there were also numerous “unknown oil” spills.


During discussion of the list, it was noted by the group that there were no spills reported as originating in Missouri (out of the 457 reported spills on the list), and this was attributed to a possible problem in getting Missouri spills properly entered into the system from which this report was generated. 


The Group was in agreement that such a list is useful for review and discussion, and should be generated again in the future.  Hokanson indicated that he would forward the existing list electronically, in a spreadsheet format, to the Group. 


Spill of National Significance (SONS) 2007 Exercise

Lee provided an update of the status of planning for the upcoming SONS 2007 exercise.  In addition to the information provided in the slides for her presentation, Lee noted the following:

§         US EPA Region 5 area command will be in Springfield, Illinois.  US EPA Region 7 area command will be in Kansas City, Missouri.

§         This will not be a truly “cold” start, as that would extend the time needed to complete the exercise. Instead, it will be considered a “warm” start to speed up the process of the exercise.

§         Resource allocation will be a key element to be exercised.

§         To bring attention to communications issues, no cell phone or land lines will be available in the first hour of the exercise.

§         The USACE-St. Louis District is playing in the St. Louis venue.  This is the only venue where USACE is playing.  Catalano added the USACE-St. Louis District would be interfacing with the U.S. Coast Guard during SONS and that there will be an impact on lock & dam operations, including the closure of a lock & dam.

§         Conoco-Phillips is bringing in their corporate team to participate in the exercise.  They will be playing the exercise around the clock.


Additionally, Lee identified the following individuals as points of contact regarding the SONS 2007 exercise:

  • Sheila Calovich – EPA R5

Phone: (312) 353-1505

Email: Calovich.Sheila@epa.gov

  • Barbi Lee – EPA R5

Phone: (312) 886-5296

Email: Lee.Barbi@epa.gov

  • Doug Ferguson – EPA R7

Phone: (913) 551-7221

Email: Ferguson.Doug@epa.gov

  • LCDR Katherine Weathers – USCG Sector Upper Mississippi River

Phone: (314) 269-2591

Email: Katherine.E.Weathers@uscg.mil

  • Roger Lauder – Illinois EPA

Phone: (217) 524-5027

Email: Roger.Lauder@illinois.gov


Illinois’ Role in SONS 2007 Exercise

Lauder reported on Illinois’ role in the upcoming SONS 2007 exercise.  In addition to the material provided in his presentation slides, Lauder noted the following:

§         The States of Illinois and Missouri have been responsible for encouraging industry play in the exercise.

§         Indiana will be providing EMAC assistance to Illinois for the spill scenario at Robinson, Illinois near the Wabash River.

§         Honeywell has decided not to play in the exercise.

§         Burlington Northern Railroad may play with a hydrogen fluoride spill scenario.

§         Teppco is planning to exercise a pipeline break near Thebes (although there may not be IL EPA resources available to respond).

§         Kirby Marine may play a cumene spill scenario.

§         American Water Company facilities will be playing along the UMR below St. Louis.

§         Additional scenarios may include agriculture/CAFO incident, a mine incident (table-top play), and possible scenario involving pipelines at Patoka, Illinois.


Faryan asked whether Indiana was the only state planning to provide EMAC assistance. Lee indicated that Ohio may be participating via EMAC as well.  Faryan asked if there were any funding/reimbursement issues related to EMAC.  Lauder responded that EMAC spells out the participants, availability and cost allocation. 


Missouri’s Role in SONS 2007 Exercise

Whitaker described Missouri’s role in the SONS 2007 exercise.  In addition to the material provided in his presentation slides, Whitaker noted the following:

  • All river crossings of major rivers will be taken down as part of the exercise scenario.
  • There is a prominent convergence of pipelines in St. Charles County, Missouri and crossing the UMR to Wood River, Illinois.
  • Much of the area affected by the earthquake has unconsolidated sediment, which is subject to liquefaction. 
  • Extensive structural damage is expected in St. Louis, due to the type of building construction generally present there.
  • There will be some field deployment of staff related to the spill component of the exercise.


SONS “Second Week” Workshop

Lee also gave a preview of the SONS “second week” Response and Recovery Workshop, which will take place in Chicago June 26-28, 2007.  She described the workshop as addressing operations and planning at various time intervals (14 days, 90 days, 6 months and 2 years) following the catastrophic earthquake, with participants addressing issues in four different tracks (emergency response & environmental recovery, waterways management, water issues, and private sector actions, issues & perspectives).  Lee noted that the workshop would focus on tying the exercise outcomes to relevant plans and policies.  She also mentioned that there will be a Senior Leadership Seminar in August 2007 as a followup to the SONS exercise.


Lauder asked whether the “second week” workshop was taking place only in Chicago.  Lee replied that Chicago was the only location for this event.


Lauder commented that it will be important to tie SONS to the need for a UMR early warning monitoring network.  Lee responded that an event to highlight this gap could be added to the MESL for the exercise.  Lauder expressed that the scenario he had in mind was an unidentified contaminant reaching a public water supply intake.


(Note: More information on the Response and Recovery Workshop is now available on the SONS 2007 website at: http://www.sons-program.org/SONS/SONS_07.nsf/RespRecWorkshop?OpenForm )


Updated Quad Cities and Greater St. Louis Area Contingency Plans

Haden reported that the Quad Cities and Greater St. Louis area contingency plans had recently been updated, as well as the response strategies for these areas.  He added that no further changes to the Quad Cities plan had been identified during the sub area committee meeting earlier in the day.  Whitaker commented that the communication element of the St. Louis plan had already been exercised in regard to recent winter storm events in the area.  Haden added that Buckeye Oil may provide some boom to the St. Louis fire department to use in response.


Spills Group/UMRBA/Region 5 Products

UMR Response DVD

Hokanson demonstrated a newly produced DVD that includes all the relevant contingency plans, inland sensitivity atlas maps, and response strategies for the UMR.  Copies of the DVD were then provided to the Spills Group members.


Emergency Action Field Guide

Punkiewicz reported that the field guides were well received at locks & dams.  Morrison indicated that they had been distributed to marinas in Minnesota and that more copies were needed. Lauder indicated an interest in having more copies available.  Tucker proposed reproduction in 11 x 17 format to allow both sides of the guide to be displayed simultaneously.  Overall, the Spills Group expressed an interest in further reproduction of the guide.  Hokanson indicated that he would request that funding be placed in the UMRBA’s FY08 budget to support a print run similar in size to the initial effort (300 copies).  Lee and Faryan indicated that US EPA may also be able to assist in reproduction.


Hokanson asked that any additional comments/corrections to the field guide be provided to him within the next few weeks.  Asbach suggested that Sector UMR, rather than District 8, be listed as the point of contact on the field guide.


The meeting adjourned for the day at 5:00 pm and resumed at 8:10 am on April 19th.


Updates and Changes to the UMR Spill Response Plan


US Coast Guard Contact Phone Numbers

Hokanson noted that Asbach’s comment regarding US Coast Guard contact numbers on the field guide (made at the end of the previous day’s meeting) was actually related to what is currently in the UMR Spill Response Plan, explaining that District 8 is currently identified as the initial point of contact in the Plan and that the field guide and Plan must be in agreement regarding initial contact point.  The Group seemed in general agreement that the contact numbers should best reflect how response would happen within the Coast Guard.  Hokanson agreed to work with Asbach, Weakley and Tucker to ensure that Coast Guard contact information was correctly and consistently reflected in both the Plan and the field guide.


Plan Language Regarding Federal OSC Jurisdiction

The group agreed to delete language from the section of the plan, found on page 13, regarding Federal OSC Jurisdiction as follows (strikethrough indicates text to be deleted):


Federal OSC Jurisdiction

U.S. EPA and the Coast Guard share the responsibility as predesignated federal on-scene coordinators for the Upper Mississippi River. Per EPA/Coast Guard memorandums of understanding, the Coast Guard will serve as the FOSC for all commercial vessel incidents and marine transportation related facilities (MTR) regardless of location.


In all other federal responses, as per the National Contingency Plan, the EPA shall serve as the

FOSC. This responsibility is divided between Regions VII and V as follows. Region VII will provide FOSCs for spills on the mainstem of the Upper Mississippi River when either Missouri or Iowa are the principal first responding state. Region V will provide an FOSC for spills totally within the State of Minnesota and where Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Illinois are the first principal responding state. When Upper Mississippi mainstem spills will result in significant response by more than one state, or where there is uncertainty as to the responding states, Region VII will provide an OSC for spills between Cairo, Illinois and Keokuk, Iowa (river mile 0.0 to 354.5) and Region V above that point.


Resources permitting, the Coast Guard will investigate/respond as first federal official on-scene to all reported spills along the Upper Mississippi River.


The group agreed to delete this text as both US EPA Regions 5 and 7 were in agreement that it did not provide a current or correct description of how they would respond and assign jurisdiction for a spill event on the UMR.  Hokanson indicated that the plan would be updated accordingly and a revised page of the plan distributed to all Spill Group members electronically.


Spill Plan Distribution

Hokanson asked the Group to provide feedback on the distribution of the recently updated UMR Spill Response Plan and Resource Manual (a hard copy and CD of the manual had been provided to the agency POCs at the Group’s October 2006 meeting).


Lauder asked the other States how they carry out distribution of the plan.  Tucker replied that Iowa provides it to local fire departments and emergency responders.  He further indicated that Iowa was now providing the updated plan electronically.


Whitaker asked whether it was technically possible to reproduce the UMR Response DVD within agencies.  Hokanson replied that it should be technically possible (and tested copying of the DVD during the meeting – noting that it took about 15 minutes for the contents of the DVD to be copied).


Morrison noted that there is very limited distribution and use of the plan in Minnesota.  He indicated that the Inland Sensitivity Atlas seems to be used more broadly.


Davis commented that response agencies are moving toward electronic distribution and use of information, and that therefore electronic availability and distribution of the Spill Plan was desirable.


Usefulness of the UMR Spill Plan/Need for Revision

Hokanson next asked the Group to comment more generally on the usefulness and continued viability/value of the UMR Spill Response Plan.  He also asked whether a more extensive revision of the plan should be initiated at this time.


Whitaker responded that the plan is useful and that SONS will help to gauge its continuing value, stating that if the plan is used during SONS, that will be an indication of its importance.


Faryan noted that the UMR Plan does continue to work in the context of other regional and sub-area plans.  He observed that it is of particular value to individuals new to the area and that it is very helpful for Region 5 OSCs.


Lauder asked whether the plan had been distributed to industry.  Tucker replied that it had not been widely provided to industry.  Whitaker added that it has been given to local responders, but the amount of use at that level is uncertain. Tucker concurred that the use at the local level is quite variable.


Asbach indicated that waterfront facilities could incorporate the UMR plan into their response plans.  Tucker indicated that this does occur for some of the facilities in the Quad Cities.  He added that more marketing of the plan to facilities would be desirable.


Davis added that the UMR plan has been used in a limited fashion for work with facility response plans.


Lauder noted that it is important to consider who in the private sector receives the plan and where response equipment is located to act when a spill occurs.  Whitaker noted that the locations of response equipment are provided in the plan.  Lauder concurred, but added that equipment locations can change over time.


Tucker suggested that any potential revisions to the plan be revisited after the SONS exercise.  Whitaker concurred, suggesting that the plan be reviewed post-SONS in light of the outcome of the exercise.


Distribution of Materials to Industry/Facilities

Davis returned to the issue of Plan distribution to individual facilities on the UMR.  He asked to what extent this had been done in the past.  Whitaker indicated that this had not been done to a great extent and Haden added that sub area plans in general had not been distributed to private entities.


Tucker noted that any distribution should be targeted toward chemical and petroleum facilities along the river.  Davis suggested providing a notice regarding the Plan to all facilities required to create facility response plans (FRPs). Asbach noted that FRPs must incorporate sensitive areas, but asked whether the UMR Plan was considered a sub-area plan, so that FRPs would have to be consistent with the Plan. Davis also asked what the authority would be to require consistency in FRPs with the UMR Plan. Hokanson indicated that this would be an important question to answer if considering distribution of the plan to regulated facilities.


Hokanson asked the group whether they envisioned sending the UMR Plan, the Sensitivity Atlas Maps and/or Response Strategies to facilities.  Davis indicated that providing the information as on the UMR Response DVD might be desirable.  Haden noted that there may be some concern regarding the release of sensitive information, such as water intakes. Hokanson commented that the St. Louis area response strategies may have to be further refined before they are distributed more broadly. Gann noted that any distribution would be best done through the EPA Regions. Davis added that non-UMR facilities would have to be pulled off the mailing list.


Hokanson summarized the Group’s preliminary intent as providing the UMR DVD content to all facilities required to produce FRPs, and that the distribution should come from EPA Regions.


Asbach offered that USCG could employ its secure web portal for distribution of this information, as this is already used by river facilities to obtain relevant information. However, he noted that this would initially be limited to the St. Louis area. Davis expressed some interest in this approach, but emphasized the need for security/screening in the distribution of information.  Lauder emphasized the importance of coordination in distributing information, to avoid any potential confusion or duplication of effort.


Overall, the Group emphasized the importance of outreach to industry in the next year regarding the UMR Plan and related information. They expressed this as a priority area for work over the next year.  Hokanson agreed to coordinate with the Group to come up with a more detailed plan for distribution.


Meeting Cycle and Group Membership

Hokanson asked whether the group felt that current meeting cycle (two meetings per year, spring and fall) was appropriate and should be continued.  The Group indicated that the current meeting cycle should remain in place.


Hokanson also asked whether membership on the group was appropriate and effective.  The Group indicated that it was, but that it would to improve participation and communication with the US Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the Group meetings.


Next Meeting

The Group identified October 3-4 as target dates for the next meeting.  The location of the meeting was determined to be the Quad Cities, as there will be an opportunity to tour Rock Island’s Mobile Command Post during that time period in conjunction with the meeting of Quad Cities Sub Area Planning Committee.


Early Warning Monitoring Network

Hokanson distributed the preliminary bid received from YSI regarding the repair and/or replacement of the multiparameter sonde at Lock & Dam 15.  He reviewed the options offered by YSI as:

1)      Repair of current sonde with existing configuration (cost of approximately $4000, plus $3000-$5000 for probes).

2)      Repair of current sonde with upgraded configuration (cost of approximately $6300 plus $3000-$5000 for probes.)

3)      Purchase of new sonde with upgraded configuration (cost of approximately $6400 plus $3000-$5000 for probes.)

Kull suggested that, if the pilot station were to be maintained, he would suggest pursuing option #2 or #3.  He added that it might be possible to save money by not including a chlorophyll probe as part of the system. Additionally, he noted that a new DO probe would likely require less maintenance than what had previously been used.


Anderson asked whether American Water is willing to continue to maintain the monitor if resources are invested to repair or replace the equipment.  Kull and Ganz indicated that they would be willing to continue providing maintenance and calibration.


Fritz suggested that there may be a solid-state petroleum-detection device that could be used for monitoring.  He mentioned that this may be available from WETLabs and is being investigated by Texas A&M University. 


Hokanson confirmed that the Group was interested in continuing operation of the pilot monitor.  He noted the importance of continuing to make progress on other fronts (funding and organizational) in addition to keeping the existing monitor up and running.  Anderson and Ganz concurred that it would be important to continue seeking broader support for the effort.  Hokanson indicated he would followup with YSI and confirm with Ann Whelan before proceeding with the purchase of new equipment.


Gann suggested that the SONS exercise may offer an opportunity to build support for an early warning monitoring network.  Lauder agreed that this may offer a chance to bring the need for an early warning system to the attention of a broader audience.


Ganz asked whether the email notification system should be returned to operation if the monitoring station was placed back in service.  The Group agreed that the notification system should be made operational once again if data collection resumed.


The meeting adjourned at 11:45 a.m. on April 19th.