Tuesday, December 26, 2017

SITREP. Water Security. Starkist, U.S. EPA, American Samoa Settlement.

For Immediate Release: December 26, 2017
Media Contact: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711
, higuchi.dean@epa.gov      
U.S. EPA, American Samoa reach revised settlement with Starkist

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have reached a revised $6.5 million settlement with StarKist Co. and its subsidiary, Starkist Samoa Co., to resolve federal environmental violations at their tuna processing facility in American Samoa.
In addition to the $6.3 million penalty announced in September, Starkist will pay $200,000 to address alleged Clean Water Act (CWA) violations found before the original consent decree was finalized by the court. The American Samoa government has also been added as a co-plaintiff in the revised action, formalizing its role as a partner in the implementation of the settlement. Under the agreement, Starkist will pay $2.6 million to American Samoa and $3.9 million to the United States.

As specified in the original consent decree, the company will also provide $88,000 in emergency equipment to American Samoa for responses to chemical releases.
“This revised agreement commits Starkist to addressing stormwater pollution, which will provide important protection for Pago Pago Harbor,” said Acting Regional Administrator Alexis Strauss with the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region.  “Working with our valued partners at American Samoa EPA, we will monitor the company’s progress toward full compliance with this very significant settlement.”

“Pago Pago Harbor is our greatest natural resource,” said American Samoa EPA Director Ameko Pato.  “We are firmly committed to working with EPA and Starkist to ensure that this local treasure is protected for generations to come.”

The additional violations included unauthorized stormwater discharges to Pago Pago Harbor from Starkist’s stormwater system. The revised consent decree requires Starkist to obtain authorization for its stormwater discharges and take steps to reduce and eliminate discharges to the harbor.

After full implementation of the wastewater treatment system upgrades, the facility’s annual discharge of pollutants into Pago Pago Harbor, including total nitrogen, phosphorus, oil and grease, and total suspended solids, will be reduced by at least 85 percent – more than 13 million pounds.

Starkist Samoa Co. owns and operates the tuna processing facility, located on Route 1 on the Island of Tutuila in American Samoa. Starkist Samoa Co. is a subsidiary of StarKist Co. which is owned by Korean company Dongwon Industries. StarKist Co. is the world’s largest supplier of canned tuna. Its American Samoa facility processes and cans tuna for human consumption and processes fish byproducts into fishmeal and fish oil.

The proposed consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is subject to a 30-day comment period and final court approval. A copy of the proposed consent decree is available on the Justice Department Web site at https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees. A summary of the settlement will be available in Samoan on that website.

For information on the original settlement, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/starkist-enhance-environmental-and-safety-measures-facility-american-samoa
For more information on the agreement and on the statutes it covers, please visit:  https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/starkist-clean-water-act-clean-air-act-resource-conservation-and-recovery-and-emergency
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Friday, December 1, 2017

NASA 2018 Internship Opportunities.

NASA is currently accepting applications for Summer 2018 internships.  See information below.

Important Dates:

*           Application Submission: Oct 18, 2017 - March 1, 2018
*           Internship Period: 10 weeks in Summer 2018

Important Resources:

NASA's live-streamed Virtual Career Summit held Wednesday, September 27th is still available online for students interested in internships, fellowships and scholarships at the space agency. The NASA Internships, Fellowships and Scholarship program (NIFS)  showcases some of its missions, programs, interns and mentors. Students can learn about the current available internship, fellowship and scholarship opportunities in the STEM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields and others, and eligibility requirements, tips for the application process and hear from previous NIFS awardees. The virtual event engaged students and NASA professionals in a question and answer session recorded during the event and also available online where you can continue to ask questions.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Duplication of efforts. DHS OIG Issues Warning to FEMA Regarding Duplicate Public Assistance Funding

Were recovery efforts from previous disasters before 2017 started or completed?

How and what were the funds utilized for?

News from the Department of Homeland Security OIG
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Friday, November 17, 2017

Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued an alert to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regarding the potential challenges the agency faces in providing duplicate Public Assistance grant funds to state, territorial, tribal and local governments for facilities that may have sustained damages from back-to-back disasters.
The after-effects of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria resulted in multiple disaster declarations and billions of dollars in damages to areas within several Gulf Coast and Southeast states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. DHS OIG noted many of the same designated disaster areas in previous disaster incidents during 2016 and early 2017. During its review, the OIG found a total of 13 major disaster declarations for areas in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Texas that overlapped some of the same areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. As of November 2017, FEMA has obligated an estimated $310.3 million of Public Assistance funding to cover permanent repair or replacement costs to facilities damaged under the 13 previous disaster declarations.

Office of Public Affairs
E: dhs-oig.officepublicaffairs@oig.dhs.gov


EMR-ISAC InfoGram for November 16, 2017

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Emergency Management and Response
Information Sharing and Analysis Center

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Emergency Management and Response
Information Sharing and Analysis Center

The EMR-ISAC InfoGram for November 16, 2017 contains the following articles:

1. New National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin released
2. Preparing for and responding to chemical threats
3. NIMS tools for mutual aid, credentialing, inventory and resource typing
4. USFA webinarcontains the following articles:
1. New National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin released
2. Preparing for and responding to chemical threats
3. NIMS tools for mutual aid, credentialing, inventory and resource typing
4. USFA webinar

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Listen in Thursday, November 16, 2017 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., to ‘Art of Femininity’

Listen in Thursday, November 16, 2017 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., to ‘Art of Femininity’ and interview with Charles D. Sharp, CEO Black Emergency Managers Association International.

Art of Femininity Radio Show discusses current issues women face in today's society ranging from home, health, hunger, business, dating, marriage, divorce, living single and walking out our God-given purpose.

Listen in!


Host:  Ivonne Cameron
Guest:  Charles D. Sharp
            BEMA International
            Thursday, November 16, 2017
            10:00 AM ET to 11:00 AM ET

Art of Femininity, Hosted By Ivonne Cameron
Art of Femininity Radio Show discusses current issues women face in today's society ranging from home, health, hunger, business, dating, marriage, divorce, living single and walking out our God-given purpose.  
 Art of Femininity takes your questions and comments live as you sound off on what matters to you.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Invitation to MEMA's Whole Community Summit, Nov. 16, 2017, Clarksville, MD

Subject: Invitation to MEMA's Whole Community Summit, Nov. 16, 2017, Clarksville, MD
MEMA (Maryland Emergency Management Agency) is hosting a whole community summit, Piecing it Together:  Building Partnerships through Resilience, on Thursday, November 16th, 2017, at the:

Ten Oaks Ballroom and Conference Center 
located at 5000 Signal Bell Lane
Clarksville, MD 21029. 

Registration runs from 800am - 900am.  The conference runs from 900am to 400pm. 

An exciting program has been prepared for you. You can view the schedule, at: http://mema.maryland.gov/Pages/wholecommunitysummit.aspx 

There will be speaker/presenters from the public sector, the private sector and the volunteer communities... something for everyone!!

If you have not registered, and plan to attend please register at mema.maryland.gov/summit.

Or, on

Eventbrite, at

This will help us keep an accurate count of attendees. Light breakfast, and lunch, will be provided.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


To our members within the U.S, Caribbean, Africa, and throughout the diaspora you have access to Kimberly to assist in you water security issues.

Within BEMA International Ms. Kimberly Fogg is one of my key advisors on water security issues.  We advocate for a systems approach to water security.  An approach of both the internal and external components of water security from the source, to the home, and for the community.  Water security is not just a matter of digging a well, but considering the entire approach of from well to to community center, to the home and for future usages.  21st Century solutions to 21st Century problems in water and waste management for both components of water security.

Charles D. Sharp. CEO  BEMA International. 


When Kimberly Fogg was a kid, her mother used to tell her that she had special powers. “I always had this unexplainable way,” she told MsXFactor. “I always had this, I don’t know…I did not grow up in a church and I did not grow up knowing the Bible – but I had this connection.” While she finds it difficult to describe the connection and its source, what she does know is that while on safari in Tanzania more than seven years ago, the connection became recognizable once again. “God began saying, ‘I want you to help – no, I need you to help.” What was God asking her to do? Who was God instructing her to help?

Following the death of her father, Fogg embarked upon the voyage as a means of soul-searching. She recalls a defining moment during dinner in Kenya. The waiter was focused on her – so much so that everyone at the table took notice. “When he brought my food there was a strange light shinning from behind him and when I looked, I saw his name tag.” The waiter’s name was the same as her father’s, Alphonse – she knew in that moment that her life would forever change. How would it change? She was not totally sure until she came across a group of young children traveling to gather water.

She would quickly learn that the young people did not have access to clean water, in their local area so they had to travel. The problem, however, is that the trek was dangerous, which meant that some never made it back home. If they did, the water they collected could be contaminated which eventually made them ill – resulting in death as well. She felt that she had to do something but at first she resisted.

“Initially I felt sorry as I saw these beautiful little children traveling to collect water, but I was missing my beautiful house,” she said.

She did not know the first thing about the process of providing clean water in a foreign land.  “As I pushed back, purpose kept being placed in my face,” she remembers. “God kept saying, ‘I want you to do this.’

Photo: Kimberly Fogg

Fogg was obedient to that call and today she heads Global Sustainable Partnerships, a non-profit organization that provides access to clean and safe drinking water to schools, households, health centers and hospitals in Tanzania. She came across the technology, HydrAid BioSand Filters, after returning to the states from her safari. “The filters that I decided to use are manufactured in my hometown (Grand Rapids, MI) just 10 minutes from my parents house,” she said. “I was talking to someone who was doing work on my parents roof, telling him about what I had experienced while on my safari, and he started telling me about these filters.” And one of the two trainings each year just happened to be coming up. “I never said okay,” Fogg reports matter-of-factly.

“I just started following the bread crumbs.

Become a partner in Global Sustainable Partnership for Water Security:

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

5.7 Earthquake Shakes Grenada, T&T and St Vincent

FEMA Grants .....Assistance and information Resources

Release of NIMS Resource Management Supplemental Guidance and Tools. November 2017

NIMS Resource Management Tools

Release of NIMS Resource Management Supplemental Guidance and Tools
FEMA’s National Integration Center is pleased to release a series of National Incident Management System (NIMS) Resource Management component documents that enhance interoperability and the effectiveness of mutual aid.

Today’s release includes:
  • The NIMS Guideline for the National Qualification System (NQS) that describes the components of a qualification and certification system, defines a process for certifying the qualifications of incident personnel, describes how to stand up and implement a peer review process, and provides an introduction to the process of credentialing personnel.
  • A set of NQS Job Titles/Position Qualifications minimum qualifications criteria for personnel serving in defined incident management and support positions.
  • A set of NQS Position Task Books (PTBs) that identifies the competencies, behaviors, and tasks that personnel should demonstrate to become qualified for a defined incident management or support position.
  • A set of NIMS Job Titles/Position Qualifications and Resource Typing Definitions other than NQS that define minimum qualifications and capabilities for personnel and their equipment within their assigned teams to manage all threats and hazards, regardless of the incident’s cause or size.
  • The NIMS Guideline for Mutual Aid that provides an overview of common mutual aid practices, defines common terminology and processes, and describes an approach for creating legal agreements and operational plans.
To support partner and stakeholder adoption, FEMA is hosting a series of 60-minute webinars to discuss the National Qualification System and answer questions related to the foundational guide and supporting tools. All webinars are open to the whole community, including individuals and communities, the private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, and all state, local, tribal, and territorial governments.
To review the documents and for additional webinar information, visit: www.fema.gov/national-qualification-system.
To review the NIMS Job Titles/Position Qualifications and Resource Typing Definitions other than those in NQS, go to: https://rtlt.preptoolkit.fema.gov/Public.

Private Sector Advisory The U.S. Virgin Islands Qualifies to Receive Up to $371 Million in Community Disaster Loans November 7, 2017

  -Loans over grants?  Wait for the grant.  What about 2018 Hurricane Season?
      Will you be able to pay off any existing loans by the 2018 Season?

Federal Emergency Management Agency
Private Sector Division/
National Business Emergency Operations Center
Private Sector Advisory
The U.S. Virgin Islands Qualifies to Receive Up to $371 Million in Community Disaster Loans
November 7, 2017
The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today the provision of additional resources and services to support ongoing operational needs for the U.S. Virgin Islands, in the form of federal loans.
On Oct. 26, 2017, President Trump signed supplemental appropriations funding permitting the transfer of up to $4.6 billion to FEMA’s Community Disaster Loan (CDL) Program. CDLs help local governments continue to provide essential operating services after a major disaster. FEMA, in consultation with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, determined the U.S. Virgin Islands now qualifies to receive up to $371 million in CDLs. These funds will help the U.S. Virgin Islands continue to perform essential government functions as the territory recovers from Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The CDL package was presented today to the U.S. Virgin Islands’ Governor’s Authorized Representative for further review and consultation with FEMA in regard to the loan terms. Upon agreement, the loan funding will be transferred to budgetary accounts for dispersal to the U.S. Virgin Islands’ central government, the Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital & Medical Center, the Roy Lester Schneider Hospital-Schneider Regional Medical Center, and the U.S. Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority.
Loan funds will be withdrawn in increments based on actual, immediate cash needs as necessary to maintain essential government operations supported by financial documentation. FEMA, in consultation with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, implemented additional reporting requirements (e.g., submissions of cash receipts, cash outlays, restricted and unrestricted cash balances, and other cash flows) to ensure CDL funds are being used appropriately.
FEMA, in consultation with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, continues to work closely with states and territories affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma to determine eligibility and appropriate loan authority for their CDLs.

Webinar - Coaching and Mentoring in Humanitarian Response. November 2017

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Webinar - Coaching and Mentoring in Humanitarian Response
Join us on the 29 November for this hour-long webinar to learn how coaching and mentoring can be effectively put into practice within a humanitarian context.

Towards a culture of preparation in East Africa. November 2017

Cultural preparation & change will have to take place at all levels.  From top-down to bottom-up.

BEMA International.

Towards a culture of preparation in East Africa
We are working in partnership with several universities in East Africa to provide students with free access to humanitarian learning via our digital platform Kaya. These collaborative efforts seek to increase resilience, response capacity, and ability to confront disasters in the region.
Read more

Towards a culture of preparation: Engaging with university students to promote uptake of Kaya courses to enhance Disaster Risk Reduction

Disasters and disaster risks have been on the rise in the last decade. Globally, the number of people affected has been increasing by an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 per decade since the early 1970s and is projected to continue to increase in many regions of the world due to the growing exposure from human activities and climate change. This projected increase in frequency and intensity of disasters is expected to be exacerbated by increased vulnerability due to poverty and increased population pressure in some risk-prone areas.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

CERT Should Be Mandatory. Starting in Middle School?

What about your community?

BEMA International

Good Article in Emergency Managment News Letter - CERT Should Be Mandatory


CERT Should Be Mandatory

All too often, businesses and organizations expect that first responders can get to them quickly in a major disaster.

by Larissa Paschyn / October 30, 2017

Too often, businesses and organizations rely on the hope that first responders will be able to reach them in time during a major disaster.  However, the bigger the disaster, the more strain on limited resources, and the less likely the government will be able to respond.  As a result, it is imperative that everyone in an organization can use their own resources and skills to take care of each other.

FEMA maintains the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program as an official emergency preparedness program. However, there is no obligation or requirement for schools and employers in high-hazard areas to implement or maintain such programs on site.

The CERT concept was originally developed following a series of earthquakes in the U.S. and Puerto Rico that left hundreds dead, injured and without emergency services. CERT volunteers are educated about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area, and CERT trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. Local responders can rely on CERTs during disaster situations, which allows them to focus on more complex tasks.

Yet public education campaigns encouraging participation in CERTs have not been highly effective or visible.  For example, in California’s Bay Area, few residents are even aware that their neighborhoods offer CERT. Combine that with the fact that numerous IT companies in the Bay Area are basically small cities, and you are looking at a recipe for disaster.  With the limited man-power and resources local emergency response has, these IT villages are not likely to receive help for a long period of time. And let’s not forget the sheer density of downtown San Francisco and Oakland, where emergency response will also have a difficult time responding to all affected buildings.

Without holding schools and businesses accountable, there is a greater likelihood of loss of life when a catastrophic disaster occurs, such as tornado, flood or earthquake.  In a catastrophic disaster, first responders will not be able to assist for a prolonged period of time.  By requiring businesses of more than 150 persons and schools to have a work or campus-based (C-CERT) team in place, local public safety can focus on other areas [during an emergency situation]; allowing the affected school/company to be self-sufficient for a time.

In any disaster, you can find numerous accounts of neighbors and regular citizens assisting at the scene before response agencies could deploy.  After the Joplin, Mo., tornado in 2011, neighbors assisted in digging others out of the rubble.  During the 2016 Louisiana floods, instead of waiting for the government to come rescue them, the people of Louisiana used privately owned boats to save their neighbors. This “Cajun Navy” was responsible for saving the lives of thousands of Louisianans.

In South San Francisco, biotech companies have been ahead of the game for years, maintaining on-site search and rescue, medical, hazmat teams, and incident command teams. In the event of an earthquake, they will be able to rescue and treat their own staff before help arrives.

The fact is that our communities and our facilities are one of the most effective ways to ensure that we are prepared in the event of a future emergency response situation, and every business should be a part of that preparedness. Schools and companies need to be able to take care of their own people, and
in earthquake territory, it is irresponsible not to require all corporations and educational institutions to have response programs in place.

Larissa Paschyn is the emergency manager for Amgen in South San Francisco, where she trains the emergency response teams. Previously, she was the external affairs officer for the FEMA Region 9 Incident Management Assistance Team.

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