MARION – Chief Brian Jackvony is pleased to announce that the Marion Fire Department has been awarded over $20,000 in grants by the Baker-Polito Administration from the Massachusetts Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act (MOSPRA) Trust Fund.
A total of nine grants, adding up to $214,308, were awarded by the state and will go toward projects that help protect the Massachusetts coastline from oil spills. Funding will provide oil spill training and planning, help start drone programs to address spill emergencies, supply spill detection sensors and purchase forward-looking infrared (FLIR) camera equipment to investigate oil spills and provide training and equipment necessary for wildlife rehabilitation.
One grant, in the amount of $14,200 will be used by the Marion Fire Department to begin a drone program. The drone will be equipped with a FLIR camera to assist in identifying oil in the water.
A second grant, in the amount of $6,000, will be used by the department to hire a contractor to prepare an Oil Spill Detection and Preparedness Plan. The plan will inventory likely sources of oil spills and identify preferential pathways.
Both grants are administered by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).
“Oil spills can be disastrous for our coastlines and can have lasting effects on the environment,” Chief Jackvony said. “The grants will help us implement valuable prevention and preparedness programs and we are grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration and the Department of Environmental Protection for this funding.”
The Massachusetts Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act was passed in 2004 following the devastating 2003 Bouchard Tank Barge No. 120 spill that released approximately 98,000 gallons of thick No. 6 fuel oil into Buzzards Bay, severely impacting natural resources along the South Coast and Cape Cod. The resulting Oil Spill Act included a Trust Fund, financed by a 5-cent-per-barrel fee on petroleum products delivered to marine terminals in Massachusetts.
“Oil spills have a significant impact on the natural environment and wildlife, and the Oil Spill Act Trust Fund was formed to help protect our coastline and the residents and businesses that rely on this precious natural resource,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “With these grants, we are helping these communities and organizations prevent a devastating spill, or preparing them to respond quickly when one occurs, ensuring greater protection for our coastline.”
Read more about the Massachusetts Oil Spill Act and the Trust Fund here.