SUB: OIL SPILL USS GRIDLEY, PORT TOWNSEND, WASHINGTON
Good Morning Fellow Leading Petty Officers,
I would like to address the oil spill that occurred on the morning of June 3rd onboard the USS Gridley in Port Townsend Bay, Washington. Although the investigation is in its preliminary stages, we must take this time to assess our Hazardous Material Program onboard. This is not the first time that the United States Navy has experienced an environmental mishap and will not certainly be the last. It is imperative that we be proactive vices reactive in these situations, we will take advantage of this mishap to a fellow ship as a training opportunity to the fleet.
The Naval Supply organization is the leading force in environmental safety and pollution prevention. The organization provides guidance and has established the hazardous material program standard operating procedures, personal protective measures, environmental safety and reporting procedures, as well as standard operating procedures in the event of hazardous material and oil spill mishaps. The sole purpose of the hazardous material program is not only to protect our ship, but also to protect the community around us. Imposing quarterly safety and preventative hazardous material training is key, this will educate our sailors with the most recent changes in the hazardous material program and place them in real time scenarios that will be assessed during set training environments. The command will be assessed annually and forward their conclusive results to the Chief of Naval Operations.
WE all must understand that just because we are a branch of the United States military it does not absolve us of a responsibility to the community in which we serve. The environment is a multifaceted ecosystem that depends on a clean and responsible United States Navy. When we fail in our duties, we could endanger the clean drinking water of our communities, plant life, animal life, etc. Therefore, we train our sailors in the dangerous evolutions that require the handling and the transfer of dangerous chemical, substances, and materials. We must see ourselves as custodians to maintain the public’s trust.
Please review the link provided below to our current standing Navy Safety and Occupational Health Program Manual for Forces Afloat instruction issued by the Chief of Naval Operations. In Section B, Chapter 3, Appendix B3-A you will find the Hazardous Material (HAZMAT) and Oil Spill Response Procedures, followed by Appendix B3-B which discusses in further the Mercury Spill Response and Cleanup Procedures. Please mirror all training plans to the manual attached below. Forward all questions on the manual to our Quality Assurance representatives or Safety Officer onboard. All training plans must be screened and approved by both departments prior to our meeting.
I will be sending an electronic meeting invitation to include all Hazardous Material Departmental representatives and Safety Departmental representatives in which we will discuss our revised hazardous material training plan. Please let me know of any questions or concerns. Thank you and have a great Navy day!
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