UPDATE – Coast Guard’s Response to our Inquiry on Feb. 26: The NRC website was taken down on February 21st. During the restoration process, the NRC was required to comply with new DOD/DHS cyber security requirements. The NRC will bring a new website online to meet these requirements, though it is an arduous process and taking longer than originally anticipated. The website will be brought back online in a stepped fashion beginning with publishing static pages within the next two weeks. The NRC report query tool and web reporting tool will not be immediately available, though we hope to have full website functionality no later than the end of May. In the meantime, we are looking at other intra-governmental websites that may be able to host our FOIA data until our main site is finished.”
This process has not impacted the NRC’s ability to take and disseminate reports to first responders via it our 800-424-8802 hotline.”
[Original Post] Savvy SkyTruth Alerts users may have noticed that we haven’t published any new oil or hazmat spill reports from the Coast Guard-operated National Response Center (NRC) since February 20. If you go directly to the NRC website, you see a “down for maintenance” message. Polluters and concerned citizens can still submit reports to the NRC by phone, at 1-800-424-8802. But without the website, we can’t search for or download pollution reports. And that leaves a big hole in our SkyTruth Alerts map, and in the daily updates we email to Alerts subscribers.
It’s also really bad timing, given the major oil spill that happened on the lower Mississippi River due to a barge accident on Saturday afternoon.
We emailed an NRC spokesperson yesterday morning and asked when and why the site went down, and when the Coast Guard expects it to be operational again, but so far we haven’t gotten a response. If anyone has info to share, please post it as a comment to this blog.