‘Emergency’ on Commencement Bay a test for spill-response team

Re-Post from The News Tribune | Story by Derrick Nunnally | dnunnally@thenewstribune.com

An unannounced spill-response test in Commencement Bay attracted attention from onlookers and authorities Thursday morning.

Spill-response boats and a flyover by a surveillance airplane were part of the drill by Marine Spill Response Corp., a Virginia-based nonprofit with offices in Tacoma and elsewhere said Tarin Todd, bay patrol director for Citizens for a Healthy Bay.

Marine Spill Response officials did not return phone calls or an email seeking comment about the drill.

Todd said he was told the organization wanted to surprise its crews to test their true response times, which was why the public and authorities were not alerted about the appearance of an “emergency” in the bay.

“They wanted it to be a complete surprise,” Todd said.

He said he had received phone calls from residents about the signs of trouble, as did the News Tribune.

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