Monday, September 17, 2018

Global's Enviro Crew Assists With Water Rescue

The nature of the work performed at SCAA member company Global often requires personnel to be prepared for just about everything, so Global's crews train for water rescues, first aid and CPR. The training certainly paid off the morning of August 13th when two of their Environmental Technicians, Carl Anderson and Caleb Faires, helped rescue two workers that had fallen into the Duwamish River off of Harbor Island at the Port of Seattle. 

Anderson and Faires were in a small landing craft hauling floating boom for a fuel transfer at Terminal 18 when they heard and saw several people across the channel at Terminal 30 hailing them. The Global crew stopped their booming and headed across the river. As they got closer saw one man in the water with a lifering, holding an unconscious man. The victim had apparently fallen from one of the large container ships;the second man was an operations manager at T-18 who jumped in to help the victim. The water in the channel remains near 55 degrees, even in summer, and the rescuer was in danger of succumbing to exhaustion and hypothermia. 

The Global team lowered the ramp at the front of the landing craft and pulled the two men into the boat. They rolled the unconscious man onto his side to help remove water from the victim’s lungs; the victim’s vitals were faint but he was breathing and had a pulse. A crane operator at T-18was able to lower a man basket next to the boat and a Seattle Fire crew helped get the men from the boat into the basket. The operations manager was treated at the scene; the unconscious man was transported to Harborview Medical Centerin critical condition. 

Anderson and Faires said they were simply in the right place at the right time, and were glad they could help with the rescue. “I’m so glad we’ve had the CPR class; you never know when something like this could happen. We knew what to do and we helped the victim out until the firefighters could get there,” said Anderson.

In a press release, the Seattle Fire Department thanked all those involved in the rescue effort. “The Seattle Fire Department extends our appreciation to the man who jumped in to save the patient, and to the private boat owners for stopping to help. If it weren’t for their coordinated life-saving efforts, the outcome may have been different.”

Photo courtesy of Seattle Fire Department:

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Press Release - September 1, 2018 SCAA Announces Leadership Change



Justin Thomas Russell
(571) 451-0433

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA (September 1, 2018)  -  The Spill Control Association of America (SCAA)  announces today the retirement of Executive Director John Allen and the appointment of Justin Thomas Russell to fill the role within the organization. This day marks the end of a transition that began on August 15th. While Mr. Russell will begin his term effective immediately, Mr. Allen will remain a member of SCAA as both an individual member and a member of the Past President's Committee.

Mr. Allen leaves the role of Executive Director after eight years of serving the industry association.  Under his leadership, SCAA saw growth in membership, and the establishment of critical relationships with legislative and regulatory leadership within Federal, State and Local Government.  Previous to this role, Mr. Allen worked at the National Response Corporation, where he served in various leadership positions over a tenure that spanned eighteen years. 

Prior to his role in the spill response and control industry, Mr. Allen retired as a naval officer after a distinguished twenty-one years of service.

In his farewell message to the leadership and members of SCAA, Mr. Allen said: "my involvement in SCAA for the past decade, eight years of which I served as Executive Director, has been an honor, a great experience and a labor of love for our industry."

Mr. Russell comes to SCAA with a proven record in spill response operations and management, executive leadership in a corporate or governmental organization, development and implementation of government relations strategies, marketing/business development, and membership management.  Mr. Russell is also a twelve year veteran of the United States Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve where he specialized in Marine Safety and Environmental Response.

"The oil spill response industry is a community that I am intimately familiar with," said Mr. Russell.  "For almost thirty years, I have either been an active participant or maintained connections that have supported the oil spill response community."

Mr. Russell added, "I’m thrilled to officially begin my new role and quite frankly… it is good to be part of an industry that has been such a big part of my life (and paved my road to DC 15 years ago)."

“I am pleased to have Justin Russell on board, guiding our association through its next chapter as the Voice of Spill Response Professionals.  There is much to do in front of us, and Justin will be a great ambassador for our members”, said Devon Grennan, President of the Spill Control Association of America.

SCAA is the United Voice of the Response Industry.
The Spill Control Association of America was organized in 1973 to actively promote the interests of all groups within the spill response community. Our organization represents spill response contractors, manufacturers, distributors, consultants, instructors, government & training institutions and corporations working in the industry. The association is focused on the following:

  • To grow membership by appealing to a broader cross-section of the environmental response/remediation industry. 
  • To focus on SCAA's resources to support the interests of its members and prospective members in an ever-changing market place faced with challenges of a more stringent regulatory atmosphere. 
  • To provide a unique forum for networking and best management practice sharing where members of SCAA can mutually address a range of issues and concerns with a wider audience.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Global Stops Fuel Release of MV Sanctuary off Orcas Island in Washington

The MV Sanctuary was a 46’ wooden trawler originally built in the 1930s for the Canadian fishing industry and later converted to a pleasure boat. On June 5th, 2018 Sanctuary caught fire in Judd Cove off Orcas Island in Washington; no one was on board at the time. Several agencies responded to the vessel fire, including San Juan County Emergency Management, San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, San Juan Island Fire Department, Orcas Island Fire and Rescue and the US Coast Guard. Despite the responders’ attempts, the vessel took on water and sank in approximately 20 fsw, releasing diesel fuel into the cove.

The San Juan Islands are a particularly sensitive ecological area; Sanctuary sank in an eelgrass bed, and adjacent to the Indian Island Marine Health Observatory. The Island Oil Spill Association (IOSA) deployed boom around the vessel to contain leaking diesel. The Washington Department of Ecology performed overflights to monitor the sheen, look for oiled marine life and determine the impact to the shoreline.

SCAA member Global was contacted by the US Coast Guard to stop the fuel release from the vessel; a crew mobilized out of Global’s Seattle office to defuel the vessel. Global used the Pintail landing craft to transport a vacuum truck from Anacortes to the wreck site. An estimated 50-gallons of diesel had already been released when Sanctuary sank; the dive team removed an additional 250-gallons of fuel from the sunken vessel.

Once defueling operations were complete, the Washington Department of Natural Resources contracted Global to remove and demolish the vessel. A derrick barge from Manson was brought in to lift the Sanctuary; after divers rigged her for removal she was lifted onto a barge from Island Tug & Barge. The vessel was transported to a shipyard and all remaining hazardous materials were removed; once released by the authorities the vessel was broken down for recycling and proper disposal.  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Elastec Holds its First Inland Boom Shop

Elastec held its first Inland Boom Shop in May. This workshop was focused entirely on the deployment of containment boom and offered intensive, hands-on exercises for participants. The three-day workshop began with a full day of classroom orientation taught by Cody Harris and Martin Belden of the Whitewater Rescue Institute based in Missoula, Montana. They covered boat safety, hydrology, knot tying, anchoring and anchor styles. The workshop also featured two on-water days where participants could learn new skills and then apply them to real-world situations. Participants were extremely pleased with the lessons they learned. For more information on next year’s Boom Shop visit

Elastec’s annual River Spill Workshop is scheduled for October 1-3, 2018 in Carmi, Illinois and New Harmony, Indiana. The three-day training features classroom learning, on-water exercises and serves as an 8-hour Hazwoper refresher course. Speakers this year include oil spill expert, Al Allen, Nic Winslow, Manager of Hazmat Planning for BNSF, and Joel Hogue, president of Elemental Services and Consulting. Registration is open and space is still available but filling up fast. For more information and to register visit

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Save the Date for SCAA's 2019 Annual Meeting & Conference

Save the Date!
2019 SCAA Annual Meeting & Conference
March 26-27, 2019

Hilton Crystal City at Washington Reagan National Airport
2399 Jefferson Davis Hwy
Arlington, VA 22202

Gather with the leaders in the spill control industry and gain exposure to cutting edge business information specifically targeting spill control professionals during the 2019 SCAA Annual Meeting & Conference. Nowhere else will you learn from and exchange information with the very best that the spill control industry has to offer. Designed with your business needs in mind, the SCAA Annual Meeting & Conference will provide you with winning ideas, revenue producing tips and tactics, plus a powerful networking opportunity with the industry’s key players.

It’s not just another meeting to go to, it’s a community of like minded people trying to build relationships needed to foster new opportunities and strengthen current ones."
- Matt Melton, General Manager, Alaska Chadux Corporation

Stay Tuned!...More information to come. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

National Response Corporation acquires SWS Environmental Services

SCAA member National Response Corporation (“NRC” or the “Company”) announced on May 14th it has acquired SWS Environmental Services, Inc. (“SWS”), significantly adding to its national
footprint and expanding its full line of compliance and environmental services.

Since 1974, SWS has been providing a broad range of essential services including industrial, hazardous waste management, emergency response, marine, and remediation services to the energy,
manufacturing, education, healthcare, chemical, transportation, government, and retail sectors.
Employing over 250 personnel, SWS is a customer‐focused company with 21 locations servicing 17
states throughout the Midwest, Gulf Coast, and Southeastern U.S.

NRC combines extensive technical expertise, broad geographic reach, differentiated assets, essential
regulatory certifications, and a specialized workforce to address customers’ recurring environmental
service and regulatory compliance requirements, including standby, industrial, hazardous waste
management, emergency response, marine, and remediation services. The Company is the largest
commercial oil spill response organization (OSRO) with worldwide operations.

“This acquisition truly complements our existing U.S. footprint with virtually no overlap, enhancing our ability to reach customers throughout the U.S.” said NRC CEO Paul Taveira. “It strengthens our national capabilities and our geographic reach, better enabling us to service our national and international client base.”

“This acquisition enhances our capabilities to provide our core suite of services to our national and
regional customers, providing them with greater synergies across their entire enterprise,” added Lou
O’Brien, SVP Sales & Marketing. “For more than 24 years, NRC has been renowned for its oil spill
standby and response capabilities. We have now completed nine strategic acquisitions over the past
five years including ENPRO Services, Op‐Tech Environmental Services, Sureclean Limited, Emerald
Alaska, Specialized Response Solutions, Boom Technology, Water Truck Services, and CleanLine WWS.  As a result, we now provide a broader suite of compliance and environmental services than any other company in our market segments.”

Eric Zimmer, SWS CEO commented, "We are excited to join the NRC group which will allow us to expand our geographic footprint. We will continue to provide our clients with cost‐effective solutions to a wide range of environmental concerns while growing our business using NRC’s strong global presence."

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Raising Lihue

ILWACO — It takes a village to raise a boat. On April 17, dozens of workers arrived by truck, boat and barge to help remove a derelict 79-year-old tuna troller from the Port of Ilwaco marina.

Abandoned in Ilwaco
The Lihue II was more or less an orphan. Its owner abandoned it at the port in mid-November 2017. On Nov. 18, it sank during a storm. Fast action by port employees, the Coast Guard and environmental agencies kept the boat from spilling much oil, but Port Manager Guy Glenn Jr. still had to figure out what to do with it.

With help from the state Department of Natural Resources Derelict Vessel Program, Glenn gained legal custody of the boat, and arranged to have SCAA member Global Diving and Salvage, a Seattle company that has done a lot of work for the state, remove it.

Getting rid of an old boat isn’t cheap — Glenn said it cost about $188,000. While the Derelict Vessel Program will likely pay about 90 percent of the cost, the cash-strapped port will still have to pay at least 10 percent. However, the boat was taking up two slips that can be rented to paying customers during the upcoming fishing season. It was also a potential environmental and safety hazard, and a temptation for unsavory types who like to forage for scrap metal.

So long, Lihue
Last Tuesday morning, Salvage Master Kris Lindberg paced on the dock in orange rain gear and a sticker-covered hardhat, occasionally giving orders through his two-way radio. Below the murky water, a diver was unfurling enormous yellow straps behind him as he swam underneath the Lihue. A brawny man in a wetsuit and a hardhat treaded water next to the badly listing boat, working to secure the yellow straps to huge iron hooks hanging from a crane.

Once, the boat was hospital white with neat black trim and a red keel. The keel still bore a red stain, but most of the paint had long since been supplanted by rust and slick green moss.
A few workers in a little boat bobbed around the perimeter, providing supplies and managing the orange plastic boom that had been placed around the boat to keep oil from spreading. A couple stories above them, more workers watched from the deck of the enormous barge supplied by subcontractor Advanced American Construction. And on the deck of the barge sat a royal blue Millenium crane that towered over everything else in the Port of Ilwaco.

A ring up bubbles formed on the surface of the water, and moved gradually toward the dock. A black diving helmet rigged with flashlights emerged from the water, and then the diver popped up and climbed ladder onto a neighboring charter boat, where still more workers greeted him with a towel. It was time to lift the Lihue.

Hole in the hull
When the Lihue went down, it filled with water. Now, it all had to come out. Workers on the dock began feeding hoses in through the cabin and other openings, and fiddling with a row of diesel-powered pumps on the dock. At a signal from Lindberg, the pumps roared to life and began spewing hundreds of gallons of filthy bilgewater. As the boat emptied out, it gradually began to rise.
The men turned the pumps off, and several of them climbed onto the surfaced boat. They moved all over its slimy surfaces, removing hoses, checking and double-checking the hooks and straps, inspecting every component of the old boat to make sure it could withstand the stress of being airborne.

Finally, about an hour later, they were satisfied that the old wooden boat was ready to fly.

By air and by sea
Barges aren’t exactly compact. Because the operators had to park the barge at the end of the dock, they couldn’t get the crane arm close enough to lift the Lihue straight out of her slip. So before the Lihue could fly, she had to make one last, brief sea-voyage. The crane operator slowly backed the boat out of its slip into the main channel, then swung the boom around, pulling the Lihue up next to the other side of the barge. High above, a row of men grabbed yellow lines and stood in a row, leaning back at 45 degree angles to the ground in an epic-game of tug-o-war. They grimaced and strained as they pulled her closer to the side of the barge.

In the water, the hulking wooden boat seemed very big. But as the workers hoisted her into the air, she lost all sense of scale. Floating above the marina, the once-stately Lihue suddenly looked like an old-fashioned toy boat.

A few boats putted out to watch as the Lihue rose into the air, climbing until she was several yards above the deck of the barge. People in the marina stopped what they were doing to record the proceedings on their phones, and the crew of a Coast Guard boat watched from the harbor.

Many wondered if the old, water-logged tub might splinter under her own weight once the workers lifted her up, but she held. There were no ominous cracks or groans; not even a deluge of water streaming off the hull.

The crane operator retracted the arm until the troller was hovering over the deck, dwarfing the orange-vested workers charged with guiding her into place. Slowly, slowly, the crane operator lowered her down. She settled softly onto the deck.

Using a crane is “actually pretty common for a vessel of that size that’s on its side,” said Katie Stewart, a Global Diving and Salvage spokeswoman. “The only way to get the water out is to lift it upright.”

Stewart said the nasty weather earlier in the month forced Global to postpone the operation a couple of times. By the time the weather was good enough to move the boat safely, the barge was almost out of time before it had to move on to another job. Aside from that, Stewart said, the operation went smoothly. Global found a small amount of asbestos on the boat, which raised the cost of disposal by a few thousand dollars, Glenn said.

After nearly 80 years on the water, the Lihue was consigned to spend her final moments on land. Crews removed steel and other metal components for recycling. Then, Stewart said, the rest of the old wooden tuna troller was disposed of as construction debris in a landfill.