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New York State’s Inland Geographic Response Plans

Dr. Lyle Trumbull

Geographic Response Plans (GRPs) are location-specific plans developed to provide guidance for oil spill responses throughout the U.S. Until recently, the majority of crude oil transportation in the U.S. occurred via waterways on oil tankers and barges. As a result, most existing GRPs focus on the protection of sensitive biological habitats and socio-economic features in nearshore environments. The recent development of crude oil extraction from the Bakken formation has resulted in a significant increase in the volume of crude oil being transported via railroads and pipelines and has highlighted the need for inland response planning.

In response to this increase in crude-by-rail traffic, the Governor of New York issued Executive Order 125 directing state agencies to strengthen the state’s preparedness for incidents involving crude oil transportation. 

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Services and Department of Health, are leading a multi-stakeholder effort to develop Inland GRPs for the 21 NYS counties currently impacted by crude-by-rail transportation.

In New York State’s Inland Geographic Response Plans, a poster presented at the Annual CLEAN GULF Conference, OBG’s Lyle Trumbull, Ph.D. and Kyle Kolwaite - with the NYSDEC, NYS Department of Transportation, Hunt, Guillot and Associates, and Gallagher Marine Systems - discuss these inland GRPs, including development, structure, and examples.

The Annual CLEAN GULF Conference took place on November 1-3, 2016 in Tampa, FL.

About Dr. Lyle Trumbull
Lyle Trumbull is an emergency response and risk assessment expert at OBG. He has been the primary technical consultant on human health and ecological risk assessments for more than 30 clients, including Honeywell, Northrop Grumman, Chevron, Exxon, Shell, Sunoco, Motiva, Unocal, GM, ConocoPhillips, and several Superfund Sites and Department of Defense facilities. Prior to OBG, Lyle worked as a biologist for Royal Dutch Shell and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He received his MS in biology from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, his Ph.D. in biology from the University of Illinois, and served as a National Science Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow in Biosciences Related to the Environment at Harvard University.

About Kyle Kolwaite
Kyle Kolwaite, a project scientist at OBG, has participated in a variety of spill responses and drills serving as the Deputy Environmental Unit Leader, SCAT Coordinator, GIS Technical Specialist, Scientific Support, and Wildlife Coordinator to complete wildlife reconnaissance, capture, and recovery. His non-emergency activities include emergency response planning, risk assessment, environmental permitting, modeling and statistical analysis, sampling of environmental media, database management, and GIS. Kyle has master’s degrees in science education (MS) from Syracuse University and applied ecology (MPS) from SUNY-ESF and has served as a biology adjunct professor at Onondaga Community College.