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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DATE: August 10, 2010

CONTACT:
Carroll Brown, 603 271-3000
Jim Martin, 603 271-3710

DES to Test Oil Spill Protection Strategies on Little Bay and in Furber Strait, Newington on August 25 and 26

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) will be conducting tests of oil spill protection strategies on Little Bay and in Furber Strait in Newington on August 25 and 26, 2010. These strategies are intended to prevent oil from entering Great Bay, should an oil spill occur in the Piscataqua River.

Great Bay is New Hampshire’s largest and most complex estuary; it is a habitat for numerous wildlife species. If a large oil spill was to occur, and the Great Bay Estuary was significantly impacted, the results could be catastrophic.

DES has been working with many local, state, and federal partners, to develop geographic response strategies that will minimize the environmental impact of oil spills in the coastal area. In order to determine whether the proposed strategies will be effective, it is necessary to deploy the oil spill containment booms and evaluate how they are affected by tidal influences. The results of this testing will be used to modify and finalize the design of these strategies.

On August 25, five thousand, one hundred feet of oil spill boom will deployed in the area of Goat Island and Fox Point and Fuber Strait. On August 26, three thousand, six hundred feet of boom will be deployed in the area of Cedar Point and Furber Strait. The deployments will begin at approximately 7:00 A.M. each day and be complete by approximately 4:00 P.M.

Due to the configuration of the protection strategies, the oil boom will close off the main portion of the navigation channel in these areas. The USCG has created a Temporary Regulated Navigation Area and Temporary Interim Rule to assure safe passage during the time of the test. DES will provide three vessels on scene for oversight of the operation, and will work with its federal and state partners to facilitate vessel traffic around the area. United States Coast Guard (USCG) staff from Portsmouth will also be on hand, as will the USCG Auxiliary; they will provide two perimeter safety and security vessels.

For further information and for maps of the oil spill strategies to be tested, please contact Carroll Brown, Jr. at 603-271-3000.

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NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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