HONOLULU, HAWAII – The Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) will host the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Pacific States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force in Honolulu, Hawai‘i on Wednesday, October 6th.  Formed in 1989, the Oil Spill Task Force provides a forum for regional collaboration on oil spill prevention and response policies.  Member agencies of the Task Force provide protection for 56,660 miles of coastline from the Beaufort Sea to the Baja Peninsula and throughout the Hawaiian Island chain.

The theme for this year’s Annual meeting — “What the Deepwater Horizon Spill of National Significance Can Teach Us” — will focus on lessons learned during the Deepwater Horizon response.  Panelists will describe the roles played in the response by the State of Louisiana, the U.S. Coast Guard, and NOAA.  The use of in-situ burning and dispersants will also be covered, as well as shoreline cleanup and on-water skimming for this huge spill.  A discussion of possible public policy changes resulting from the spill will follow.  In addition to these panel presentations, updates will be provided on the Oil Spill Task Force’s initiatives as well as oil spill policy developments in Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawai‘i.

Members of the Oil Spill Task Force are the directors of the oil spill prevention and response agencies in Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Hawai‘i.  This annual meeting provides them with an opportunity to interact with regional stakeholders on oil spill policy issues.  The DOH will host the 2010 Annual Meeting at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu (www.hiltonhawaiianvillage.com).  The event will be in Room “Honolulu 1-2” in the Tapa Conference Center, on the second floor of the Tapa Tower.

Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday October 6th; the meeting will convene at 8 a.m. and adjourn at 5 p.m. The meeting is open to the news media, but advance registration is required.  The registration deadline is noon, September 30th.   To register, please contact Jean Cameron at 503-781-3815 or by e-mail at JeanRCameron@oregoncoast.com.   For more information, please visit the Task Force website at www.oilspilltaskforce.org.

Submitted by Janice Okubo, DOH

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