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International task force to discuss protecting West Coast from oil spills

The meeting is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, in the Microsoft Auditorium at the Seattle Central Public Library, 1000 Fourth Ave. The meeting is open to the public, and will be broadcast online. RSVP with Linda Helmick – lihi461@ecy.wa.gov. 

The task force was authorized by a Memorandum of Cooperation signed in 1989 by Governors of Alaska, Oregon, Washington and California, and the Premier of British Columbia following the Exxon Valdez and Nestucca oil spills. These events highlight the common concerns regarding oil spill risks shared by West Coast states and provinces, and the need for cooperation across shared borders. 

The task force provides a forum where members can work together to implement regional initiatives to help protect 56,600 miles of coastline stretching from Alaska to California, and includes the Hawaiian archipelago. 

The task force is committed to improving, preventing, preparing for and responding to oil spills. It collects and shares data on spills, coordinates spill prevention projects, and promotes regulatory safeguards. 

Members include: 
Thomas M. Cullen Jr., Administrator, Office of Spill Prevention and Response, California Department of Fish and Wildlife 
Gary Gill, Deputy Director, Hawaii Department of Health
Larry Hartig, Commissioner, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
Dale Jensen, Spills Program Manager, Washington Department of Ecology 
Dick Pedersen, Director, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Wes Shoemaker, Deputy Minister, British Columbia Ministry of the Environment

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