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Updated Wildlife Protection Guidelines for Spill Response in Alaska FAQs, January 2020

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What are the Wildlife Protection Guidelines (WPG) for Oil Spill Response in Alaska?
A comprehensive, non-regulatory guidance document for oil spill responders and planners to help minimize or eliminate spill effects on fish, wildlife, and their habitats.
Who worked on the updated WPG?
The Alaska Regional Response Team’s Wildlife Protection Committee, which includes representatives from federal and state agencies, Alaska Native communities and subsistence users, industry, spill response contractors, regional citizens’ advisory councils, wildlife response contractors, and non-governmental organizations
What’s new or revised?
  • Reorganized, hyperlinked format that matches Area Contingency Plan (ACP) table of contents
  • Wildlife agency emergency contact information and information on consultation, permits, and other requirements for wildlife response
  • General wildlife considerations and Best Management Practices
  • Information on Subsistence, Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration, Vessel Grounding and Sinking Response, Invasive Species
  • Roles and responsibilities in the Incident Command System
    • Planning Section - Environmental Unit communications, consultations, permits, and procedures
    • Operations Section - Wildlife Branch “grab and go” tactics
  • Responder-focused forms, tables, and flowcharts
  • Startup Wildlife Response Plan and Comprehensive Wildlife Response Plan
    • Two plan types, based on time elapsed from start of the incident
    • These replace Appendices 24-25 in the former Annex G
  • Reference information for migratory birds, marine mammals, and terrestrial mammals
Why were these changes made now?
To incorporate new and updated information since the 2012 version (Annex G in the Alaska Unified Plan); to correspond to updated Regional and Area plan formats; and to focus content for specific users (spill responders and planners)
How does this update relate to the new ACPs?
The WPG is a stand-alone document, incorporated by reference into Alaska’s four ACPs (Inland, Arctic and Western Alaska, Southeast, and Prince William Sound). The public review process for the WPG is independent from the ACP review process.
How do I find the WPG and how often will it change?
The most current version of the WPG, references, forms, and other materials will be housed on the DEC’s Area Plan References and Tools. The Wildlife Protection Committee intends to annually review and update the WPG when needed.

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