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Press Release | May 9, 2024

U.S. Coast Guard conducts spill response exercise with Supreme Petroleum Guam

U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam

PITI, Guam — On May 1, 2024, U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam personnel executed a Government-Initiated Unannounced Exercise (GIUE) at the Harbor of Refuge testing Supreme Petroleum, a key player in Guam's petroleum industry. 

The drill, run and evaluated by personnel from the Guam-based U.S. Coast Guard Emergency Management and Force Readiness, Prevention, and Incident Management divisions, simulated an oil spill scenario to guarantee safety, appropriate notifications, and prompt response actions. The primary mission was to evaluate the facility's ability to execute response plans swiftly and efficiently under real-world conditions, which they met satisfactorily.

"The significance of the National Preparedness for Response Program (PREP) highlights that facilities must follow different standards. These unannounced exercises are like pop quizzes for facilities, testing how they respond to oil discharges. Reflecting on the exercise, seeing how everyone knew what to do and jumped into action was impressive. They activated their plan efficiently, and it was great to witness," said Lt. Henry Dunphy, the chief of emergency management and force readiness at U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam.

The exercise involved deploying response equipment and personnel to effectively manage the simulated spill scenario at the Harbor of Refuge. OSROCO (Oil Spill Response Operations Company), a key player in oil spill response and environmental protection in Guam, played a significant role in the exercise. As a subsidiary of Cabras Marine Corporation, OSROCO is responsible for purchasing, maintaining, and operating resources necessary for oil spill response in the region.

Supreme Group Guam, a corporation registered to conduct business in Guam's petroleum storage sector, was the responsible party for the exercise as they provide fuel to Guam Power Authority's harbor adjacent operations under contract. 

"Testing facility response plans are crucial to ensure readiness for accidents, as federal regulations require. They did quite well, even with a response equipment malfunction in their skimmer. Supreme and OSROCO proved to be the professional organizations that they are. Additionally, they were able to swiftly swap the faulty equipment out with a working one, showcasing their efficiency in handling unexpected challenges," said Mr. Jack Ary, port security specialist at U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam.

The exercise followed a meticulous process, starting with forming the GIUE team, led by a Federal On-Scene Coordinator Representative and a Preparedness Specialist. The team executed the scenario development and exercise precisely to ensure realism and authenticity. Their evaluation and documentation of the response actions assess the timeliness and effectiveness of the response.

Post-exercise, the GIUE team discussed feedback and identified corrective actions with the responders and Supreme representatives. A GIUE results letter was issued detailing any deficiencies noted and providing a timeline for corrective actions. Successful completion of the exercise can exempt but does not guarantee exemption for facilities from further unannounced exercises for a period, typically up to 36 months, provided they meet all regulatory and performance standards.

Such exercises underscore the importance of continuous improvement in spill response capabilities and promote transparency and positive regulatory interactions within the industry. With the integration of companies like OSROCO and Supreme Petroleum Group Guam, Guam's spill response framework is better equipped to address environmental emergencies effectively and protect its marine ecosystems.


About U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam
The U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam team focuses on maritime safety, security, and stewardship in Oceania. With a primary presence in Guam and Saipan and around 300 members across Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the team maintains a strong U.S. presence in the Micronesia sub-region and adjacent areas, closely tied to local communities.