Ensuring Food Safety Following an Oil Spill in AlaskaSierra Fletcher, Nuka Research and Planning Group, LLC
Scope of Work:
Nuka Research and Planning Group, LLC (Nuka Research) proposes to conduct the project Ensuring Food Safety Following an Oil Spill in Alaska. The goal of this project is to improve the mitigation of food safety impacts resulting from a marine oil spill in Alaska through supporting the ARRT’s efforts to develop policy and guidance for On-scene Coordinators regarding food safety during pollution responses.
Project objectives to achieve this goal include:
- Identify statutory and regulatory authorities, as they exist, regarding the closure/opening of each of the following in the event of contamination from a marine oil spill: commercial, recreational, personal use, and subsistence resources.
- Directly engage ARRT workgroup in the project via check-in calls or meetings at three key points in the development of project deliverables.
- Produce a concise, thorough, and thoroughly referenced report that will serve as a direct input to the ARRT work group’s efforts to develop a policy and guidance related to food safety in the event of a marine oil spill in Alaska.
The proposed approach includes a review of statutes and regulations, literature, and documentation from past spills, as well as interviews with subject matter experts and knowledge-holders. Examples of policies or guidelines related to the contamination of commercial, subsistence, recreational, or personal use resources will be drawn from Alaska and elsewhere in the U. S. as well as internationally.
This project will directly serve the needs of the ARRT to further enhance the preparedness of agency officials to handle food safety-related issues in a response context. In doing so, it also directly supports the Oil Spill Recovery Institute’s mission to “enhance the ability of oil spill responders to mitigate impacts of spills in Arctic and sub-Arctic marine environments. ” Unlike many of the Institute’s projects, which focus on the recovery or treatment of the slick itself, this project addresses broader impacts. Consumption of contaminated food sources or lack of access to safe food due to actual -- or perceived -- contamination are potential impacts of oil spills in Alaska. Providing clear food safety guidelines will support decision-making in the intense context of a spill response and also improve clarity for resource users and markets.