If the oil spill does make it to our coast, who would be responsible for containing it and do they have a plan in place?
Local emergency management officials say stopping an oil spill is too big a job for Horry County or even the state to handle on its own. They just don't have the resources.
Various federal agencies would step in to control the spill, though local and state officials say they would have a role to play, too.
No one wants to see gobs of black goo lapping up on Grand Strand beaches. But if the spill does approach our coast, state officials say a unified command structure would be put into place, coordinating federal, state and local agencies.
"More than likely, the Coast Guard would take the lead, other federal agencies would come in and be co-leads of sorts. that would include the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration," Adam Myrick, DHEC, said.
Myrick says the state Department of Health and Environmental Control would provide technical support, if needed.
Horry County's emergency management director says his agency would offer logistics, things like offices, telephones and so on.
DHEC officials their agency is keeping a close eye on the spill's progress, getting daily updates from NOAA, the EPA and the Coast Guard. "There are even some South Carolina agencies. I know of at least one who has sent, and probably there are more, who has sent responders to that part of the country, to the Gulf coast," Myrick said.
Coast Guard officers based in Charleston told me they've been briefed on how they would respond to the spill but he's not authorized to talk to the media about it. But DHEC's spokesman says there is a plan for South Carolina and the state will be ready for the spill. "Those plans are certainly in place at the federal level. We're aware of them and then, in essence, we would abide by them if the situation were to develop that way," Myrick said.
Horry County's emergency management director says the spill's biggest impact on our area would be economic and there's nothing his agency can do about that.
(Courtesy WACH Fox News' sister station WPDE/CarolinaLive.com)
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