Mainers are already working to contain the oil spill off the Gulf Coast, and more will likely be dispatched.

Ten men with Gorham-based Boom Technology Inc. have been aboard vessels in the Gulf of Mexico since Wednesday, said Jim Fox, the company’s president. Another 20 employees who are on standby can expect to join the effort.

Boom Technology is working for Virginia-based Marine Spill Response Corp., which has locations in Portland and elsewhere around the country.

The Maine Responder, the latter company’s 208-foot-long oil-recovery ship, is berthed at Union Wharf.

The workers will use booms and other mechanical means to remove oil from the water, and may be involved in shoreline cleanup as well, Fox said.

“Basically you’re just trying to make sure you can limit the impact of the oil on the shoreline,” he said.

Clean Harbors Environmental Services in South Portland is sending two boats, five employees and supplies like booms, boats and skimmers — floating devices that vacuum up the oil — to the Gulf of Mexico, said Matthew Quinn, Clean Harbors’ manager.

On Friday, some of the equipment was already on its way and more was being loaded into trucks. Because the company has divisions nationwide, it can draw personnel and equipment from various locations when they’re needed.

After the Julie N oil spill in Portland Harbor in 1996, those resources flowed into Maine, Quinn said.

“When the hurricanes hit in Louisiana, we had people working down there. Whenever it’s a big disaster, we tap into resources,” he said.

On Friday morning, Maine received a request through the mutual-aid compact for the states to inventory its oil spill coordination and remediation resources.

The Department of Environmental Protection — the state’s lead agency for oil spill response — has identified resources including skimmers, storage devices, work boats, booms, pumps, hazardous-materials technicians and geographic information systems expertise, Gov. John Baldacci said in a telephone interview.

The DEP, the Department of Marine Resources and the Maine Emergency Management Agency continue to research potential resources, he said.

“A formal (deployment) request has not been issued yet. They’ve asked us to get in the preparation stage so we know what’s out there,” Baldacci said.

Baldacci put in a call to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Friday.

No one from Coast Guard Sector Northern New England has been deployed to the Gulf so far. But Lt. Robert Hollis said personnel could be sent there, since the sector recently led a mock oil-spill exercise in Casco Bay.

In March, more than 500 people from dozens of public agencies and businesses participated in the two-day exercise. The drill simulated a collision between a car carrier ship and a tanker, and the subsequent sinking of the first vessel.


Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at:

[email protected]


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