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FW599-Risk assessment

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Joseph DeCicco

on 18 June 2013

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Transcript of FW599-Risk assessment

Overall Risk Analysis
Risk Assessment 1:
- No biological inventory conducted
- No testing conducted
- No sampling protocols present
- No treatment protocols even if
- Decontamination protocols
-- Source from HAZMAT, DOD, NASA, ETC.
- Control, Access, Isolation protocols
- Options include : Sink in-transit; bio-foam upon
arrival; incinerate; least preferable is manual
- Bacteria and Viruses are a sub-set of the larger
invasive species issue
- Stress preventive options of restricting access to
invasive species; treat as bio-hazard material
- Indicate that there are definitional, statutory, and
regulatory issues
Bottom Line: Look at from a distance BUT DON'T TOUCH!!!
On June 5th, a Japanese dock washed up on Agate Beach, 5000 miles away from the fishing port of Misawa
Dislodged by the 9.0 earthquake that triggered a tsunami on March 2011
66 feet long and weighs 165 tons
Contained 1.5-2 tons of living sea creatures
Notable invasive species included: Northern Pacific Star Fish, Japanese Shore Crabs, Brown Algae, different kinds of mussels, barnacles, and marine algae
What fell off or was removed before decontamination
60% of dock's surface area was on the bottom where it washed up and the organisms were scraped off and washed away
The dock sat for two days before it was cleaned by staff and a dozen volunteers
Visitors to the beach could have picked up invasive species knowingly or unknowingly and transferred them to another beach
Exotic seaweed would not survive at Agate Beach because of the crashing surf and various other reasons. But if they floated into neighboring Yaquina Bay, it is very similar to home waters of Japan and they could easily grow and reproduce.
Waste removed from the barge was buried on the beach

"Buried above the waterline"

Multiple reports of "souvenirs" removed from the barge prior to decontamination
Risk Assessment 3:
Assessment (Lack of...)
Risk Analysis Process - Absent/Does not Add Up
- Surprized; Short Term; "Seat of the Pants"
driven; Lack of policy, coordination,
1. What fell off or was removed the dock before decontamination

2. 165 ton dock now located on the Oregon Coast

3. Overreaction: Perception vs Reality

4. Handling of the removed wastes

5. Unseen microspecies
- Politically and Media Driven
Handling of the removed wastes
- Appears to be primitive, low cost, low energy effort
- Very public issue, small mistakes magnified
- Media hyped issue
- Multiple players therefore multiple media offices
- Public perception/actions appear unmoved by
"crisis reporting"
- President designate lead Federal Agency via Executive
- Federal Inter-Agency Task Force be created in
advance of advancing debris field
- All West Coast State Governors designate Lead
- "Debris First Responders" Isolate and Contain
- Task Force will recommend incineration, chemical
bio-foam treatment, etc. BEFORE manual
scrub-down as a LAST resort!
Media frenzy due to the size of the dock
Is floating debris a novel concept?
In the first weekend over 10,000 additional cars visited the area.
Invasive species news articles are in the news monthly

"exotic" vs "native" species
Risk Assessment 4:
Over-reaction: Perception vs Reality
Risk Management 1:
What fell off or was removed before decontamination
Monitoring of the Agate beach coastal ecosystem and neighboring Yaquina Bay
Invasive species removal procedures/protocols for current and anticipated debris
- Task Force will recommend standard disposal
options ("memorials" not an option!)
- No one media control point - not possible in this
Country or on this particular issue
- Obtaining quality assessments (diversity, abundance, and condition) of the living organisms on the beached debris, and whether those organisms could pose an invasion risk.
Management and communication linked
Risk Management 3:
Handling of the removed wastes
Proper disposal should be broadcast to the public for future docks that wash ashore.

Public should be told not to spread the wildlife from the barge

Public made aware for future beaching of tsunami flotsam

Two docks are still unaccounted for and the main portion of the debris field has yet to make landfall
Dock on the Oregon Coast
Risk Management: 2
Dock on the Oregon Coast
Communication of Risk: 2
Dock on the Oregon Coast
What fell off or was removed before decontamination
Communication of Risk 1:
Communication with the local press on clear and concise risks of invasive species outbreak and how to mitigate those risks
Informative signs on Agate beach on how to report a sighting of an invasive
Signs on the beach to inform visitors how not to spread any invasives
Informative meetings with the public and scientists at the NOAA center in Newport on the overall implications of the dock's landing
After Action Review on how the situation was handled by responders and how it was received by the public
Disposal of the waste as bio hazardous material?

Adequate burial site? "Above the waterline"

Additional controls placed since dock contained invasive species

Ensure proper decontamination techniques were utilized in species removal.
Risk Assessment 2:
Public can access the dock at anytime
Removal of the dock could be dangerous
It will be costly any way the dock is removed
An increased amount of civilians in the area means an increased possibility of an accident (on the road, parking lot, beach, etc...)
Local law enforcement could enforce certain viewing times of the dock while it remains on the beach
Barriers could be placed to restrict climbing onto the dock by public
Preference could be given to the company that has a demonstrated track record of being safe for removal of the dock
Speed limits could be reduced and/or flaggers/signs in place in the areas leading up to and just past the entrance of the beach
The USFWS has expressed concern that some areas on the coast with populations of threatened birds could be impacted by waves of debris-seeking tourists, beachcombers, souvenir hunters, etc.
Signs posting the viewing times of the dock in the parking lot and next to the dock
In the proposal for the removal of the dock, it could clearly state the high safety standards and expectations
Highly visible traffic signs and/or flaggers should be visible in the areas surrounding the road to the beach
An article in the local newspaper could outline the measures taken to preserve the affected ecosystem
Manage the tone of information conveyed to the media.
Controls the severity of the news story so it isn't blown out of proportion.
Education of the public on invasive species, but without going for the 'shock' approach.

Communicate that small debris from Asia is a relatively common occurrence on the West Coast.
It's not a magnitude issue; we actually have no evidence for the phenomenon having previously occurred, in any magnitude, which underscores the somewhat "sui generis" nature of the current tsunami-generated phenomenon.
Tsunami Debris, Oregon
Laura Atkins
Joseph DeCicco
William Roberts
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