WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate is supporting the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill response in a variety of ways. The Acquisition Directorate’s Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) Program and its Research and Development Center (RDC) have been providing onsite support in the form of guidance on the usage and effectiveness of current oil spill response technologies as well as serving as part of the review team screening and evaluating potential response solutions from vendors.
The RDC is executing the Interagency Alternative Technology Assessment Program (IATAP) workgroup in collaboration with interagency partners and has issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for vendors. The BAA was published on June 4 at www.fbo.gov and calls for the submission of white papers on vendor-proposed technology solutions.
The BAA covers five distinct problem areas: oil sensing improvements to response and detection; oil wellhead control and submerged oil response; traditional oil spill response technologies; alternative oil spill response technologies; and oil spill damage assessment and restoration. The BAA white papers will be screened based upon overall scientific and technical merit, feasibility, the availability of proposed solution and a rough order of magnitude cost.
The initial screening will result in one of three determinations: 1) the white paper has a potential for immediate benefit to the oil spill response effort; 2) the white paper submission needs more detailed investigation or evaluation by the appropriate government agency; or
3) the white paper submission does not support a response to this incident.
The RDC has a subject matter expert onsite who is reporting to the Incident Commander for Surface Response and providing guidance on in situ burns, dispersants and sorbent boom use. The RDT&E Program’s Fire and Safety Test Detachment in Mobile, Ala., is coordinating local logistical support for volunteers in the area.
The RDC is also participating in the interagency Flow Rate Technical Group, which was designed to support public information efforts by providing the latest scientifically validated information about the amount of oil flow at the site.
Several newly acquired Coast Guard assets have been assisting with the oil spill response and recovery. The multi-mission HC-144A Ocean Sentry aircraft from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Ala., has been providing on-scene oil spill information for government personnel, media and others; transportation for oil-impacted wildlife; and the location of surface vessels using its extensive sensor package.