Today, the Coast Guard-sponsored DHS Tier II Spill of National Significance (SONS) 2010 exercise begins. The exercise is based upon a scenario in New England involving a collision between an oil tanker and a car carrier causing a catastrophic oil spill. It is an operations-based, full-scale exercise intended to stress all levels of the response organization.
The Coast Guard National Command Center is leading the way by sending exercise information via electronic alerts to simulate critical communications much like what was implemented during Haitian response operations. Exercise partners include: Transport Canada, Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Interior, Department of Transportation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Navy Supervisor of Salvage, National Response Team, Shell Oil Products US, as well as the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Exercise design and execution are major efforts that require the full participation of all partners.