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P. 1
6.29.12- Letter to Admiral Papp on Tsunami Debris

6.29.12- Letter to Admiral Papp on Tsunami Debris

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Published by KING 5 News

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Categories:Types, Letters
Published by: KING 5 News on Jun 29, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/29/2012

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June29,2012AdmiralRobertJ.PappCommandant,UnitedStatesCoastGuard21002
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StreetSW,STOP7328Washington,D.C.20593-7238DearAdmiralPapp:Thankyouforyourcontinueddedicationtodefendingournation'smaritimeinterests.AsMembersofCongressfromtheWestCoast,Alaska,Hawaii,andtheU.S.territoriesinthePacificweappreciateyourworkandknowthatyoureffortsarehighlyvaluedbyourconstituents.Wearewritingaboutanimportantissueaffectingourdistrictsandthenation:thearrivalofdebrisfromthetsunamithatstruckJapaninMarch2011.Theearthquakeandsubsequenttsunamiresultednotonlyinthetragiclossoftoomanylives;theyalsocausednearly5milliontonsofdebristobesweptintothePacificOcean.Morethanayearlater,largepiecesofdebrisareappearingalongthePacificCoastoftheUnitedStates,andareexpectedtobejustthebeginningofnearly100,000tonsofdebristowashupalongtheshoresofHawaii,Alaska,Washington,OregonandCalifornia.OnJune
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a66~footdockfromMisawaJapanwashedashoreonAgateBeachnearNewport,Oregon.Thearrivalofthisdockemphasizestheseriousnessoftheissueofmarinedebrisfromthetsunami.Notonlydoesthisdebrisrepresentasignificantthreattointernationalshippingandothercoastalindustries,manyinvasivespecieshavebeendiscoveredonthisdebristhat,ifleftunaddressed,couldrepresentanunprecedentedthreattoourcoastalecologies.Inlightofthisseriousthreatweaskthatyouclarifyyouragency'sroleinrespondingtothearrivaloftsunamidebrisonourcoastsandweencourageclosecoordinationwithstateandlocalentitiesasthisresponsecontinues.Earlierthisyear,anabandonedJapanesefishingboat,theRyou-UnMara,whichhadbeenwashedouttoseabythetsunami,wasscuttledbytheCoastGuard195milesofftheAlaskanCoast.Accordingtoreports,collaborationbytheCoastGuard,theNationalOceanicandAtmosphericAssociation(NOAA),andtheEnvironmentalProtectionAgency(EPA)quicklydeterminedthatsinkingtheshipatseawasthebestoptiontoprotectcoastalmarinehabitatsandendanypotentialdanger
it
mightposetoothervessels.ThearrivalofthedockontheOregoncoastindicatesthatitwasnotdeterminedtoposeasimilarthreat.Giventhisinconsistency,pleaseprovideuswiththecriteriathattheCoastGuardusestodeterminewhenitwilltakedecisiveandeffectiveactionlikethatwhichwastakeninthecaseoftheRyou-UnMara.Anotherconcernthathasbeenbroughttoourattentionisthelackofinformationsharingbyfederalagencieswithstateandlocalgovernmententitiesthatareresponsiblefordebrisremoval.WeappreciatethattheCoastGuardisaskedtoperformextraordinaryworkunderdifficultcircumstanceswithlimitedresources,butweareconcernedthatlocalentitiesmaynot
PRINTEDONRECYCLEDPAPER
 
benotifiedbeforethearrivalofpotentiallylargepiecesofdebris.Forthisreason,weaskthatyouprovideuswithspecificdetailsaboutyourprocedureforreportingmarinedebristolocalauthoritiesandhowyouwillensurepropernotificationofpotentialthreats.causedbyincominghazards.Theearthquakeandtsunamiwereunfortunatenaturaleventsbeyondourcontrol.Theresultingdebrispresentsachallengeofuriprecedentedscaletoouroverburdenedstateandlocalagencies.Weareconfidentthatthefederalagencieswithjurisdictionovermarinedebrisissues,thestateagenciesresponsibleformaintainingthebeachesandmarineecosystems,andthelocalgovernmentsandcitizenswhoarecommittedtohelpingtheircommunitiescanaddressthischallenge.Wewanttoworkwithyouasthisthreatunfoldsandweappreciateyouprovidinguswiththeinformationnecessarytodoso.Welookforwardtoyourresponse,andthankyouinadvanceforyourpromptattentiontothisrequest.Sincerely,
..
~~~~~~~~__~C-
~~
KURTSCHRADER
MemberofCongress
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AMFARR~MemberofCongressMemberofCongress
 
MemberofCongress
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MIKEHONDAMemberofCongress
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MAZIEHIRONO.MemberofCongressMemberofCongressMemberofCongress

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