Florida Power and Light (FPL) established a Corporate Response Team to react quickly if and when an accident were to occur in and around the facilities they occupy at the Port Manatee. Their annual training exercise is a regulatory obligation under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. This practice helps FPL to maintain proficiency and preparedness for any mishap that might befall the millions of barrels of oil that moves through the port yearly.
Rae Dowling and Paul Plotkin presented a review of their 2012 Oil Spill Drill to the Port Authorty on FPL's behalf at Thursday's Manatee Port Authority meeting. Dowling, FPL's area manager and Poltkin, FPL's General Manager for the Manatee Plant, walked the commission through the oil receiving process, holding facilities and the procedures used if an occurrence were to occur.
FPL's response teams has support from a variety of organizations; the US Coast Guard, EPA, FDEP, as well as other spill response contractors and Port Manatee security. Of the 90 employees that work at the FPL Manatee Plant, many are trained to assist in emergencies.
If a spill were to take place, the response team would deploy emergency equipment: booms stored by the Coast Guard at the Port, and emergency teams would follow protocols. Teams are said to be in place 24/7.
FPL services 4.6 million customers in 35 counties, generating 101,934,659 MWh of power. Most of that power is generated from the use of natural gas, which is pipelined in from Alabama.
Currently, oil prices are up and natural gas prices are down, and that is a trend that is expected to continue. This will reduce the amount of oil coming through the port and consequently reduce the possibility of a spill.
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