About Harry Allen

I currently supervise a 16 person unit that directly conducts and oversees cleanup at approximately 30 hazardous substance and oil spill sites per year and responds to and investigates over 50 more such sites per year. I have significant technical expertise in coordination of time-critical and emergency oil spill and hazardous site cleanups and I have focused my energies on techniques to assess and restore impaired environments, measure potential pollutant exposures, and conduct cleanups typically on land but also in the marine environment. I have worked with very diverse stakeholders, including many Tribal nations. Most notably I lead efforts to carry out large scale radium contamination assessment and cleanup efforts on the Navajo Nation (for which I earned US EPA’s National Honor Award “Gold Medal” for exemplary service and the Navajo Nation EPA’s award for Outstanding Service to the Environment). I’ve conducted novel oil and pesticide cleanup efforts, heavy metals stabilization projects, and participated in large-scale environmental response following natural disasters. Examples of my work relating to the marine cleanup, marine response preparedness and marine sciences include key involvement in many high visibility projects, especially in CA and HI. Early in my career I prepared a Biological Opinion for development of the Mare Island Dredge Ponds and became familiar with Endangered Species and Marine Fisheries issues in the Bay Area. In 2004 I served as the Federal Incident Commander for the Suisun Slough Oil Spill, a 100,000+ gallon diesel spill in the Suisun Bay. In 2007 I played a leadership role in the government’s response to the M/V Cosco Busan oil spill in San Francisco Bay where I coordinated the training and deployment of over 2,500 volunteers in coordination with the State and many local NGOs. These persons cleaned up oil from the ocean and bay beaches working through 4 Bay Area counties and the National Park Service; an example that was followed during the Deepwater Horizon disaster of 2010. In 2011, I assisted NPS with monitoring of a chronic oil release at Alcatraz NP, assisted the HI Department of Health in cleanup of PCB containing wastes and medical wastes in the HI islands, and advised on cleanup of oil and PCB wastes nearshore at the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation Saipan and Rota power plants. I am currently advising on cleanup approaches at the Borderfield State Park (Tijuana Estuary) Goat Canyon sedimentation basins, the Oakland Estuary contaminated vessels removal project with CalRecycle, USCG and USACE, and the Tuluwat Village contaminated site, a sacred site in Humboldt Bay, Arcata, CA at the request of the Wiyot Tribe. Serving on both the CA Mainland and Oceania Regional Response Teams with the USCG and other State, territorial and local agencies, I have gained significant coordination experiences in the marine zone as well. Examples include State and Federal oil spill response coordination in CA and government response to contaminated ship traffic and subsequently marine debris, especially that from the 2011 Japanese Tsunami, in CA, HI, Guam and the CNMI. For the Tsunami debris problem I prepared testimony for hearings with the Whitehouse Council on Environmental Quality and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation (May 2012). I have taken a keen interest in potential Superfund response to marine plastic debris and have recently collaborated with academic experts on pioneering research into the additive effects of plastic exposure on the body burden of toxic substances in pelagic fish. I have also played a significant management role in managing multiple contracts, and even grant-making including a Removal Action Grant to rebuild radium contaminated homes. I also drafted a Request for Proposal for a contract to conduct offshore marine debris searches off the CA and HI coasts in 2013 and beyond. I currently serve as adjunct faculty at USF, presenting courses in environmental data analysis, soil remediation science and technology and co-presenting environmental emergency management for the graduate program in Environmental Management. For USF, I designed and presented a symposium on the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster and its effects (November 2010) along with numerous multi-disciplinary presenters.

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