The Hazardous Material Transport Outreach Network (HazMaTON) hosts a HazMaTON Summer Webinar Series each year. The series provides free, publicly available webinars that take place monthly between May and September. The series is meant to provide the latest research and resources to stakeholders in the region to inform decision-making around the complex issue of hazardous material transportation. Anyone with a vested interest in how hazardous material, such as crude oil and its refined products, move throughout the region may find the content informative.

Each webinar is hosted and recorded via Zoom. Recorded webinars are captioned. Watch the recordings on Minnesota Sea Grant’s YouTube channel.

If you have an idea for a webinar topic that you would like us to consider for the 2023 Summer HazMaTON Webinar Series, please contact Sea Grant Great Lakes Transportation Extension Educator Kelsey Prihoda, priho011@d.umn.edu.

2024 Summer Webinar Series

Spilling Oil into a Boreal Lake: Lessons Learned from Whole Ecosystem Studies on the Fate and Effects of Oil Spills and Non-Invasive Clean-Up Approaches in Canadian Freshwater Systems

July 17, 2024 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. EDT

Register: Registration is required. This is a virtual event. All of the webinars in this series are free and open to the public. Those who are interested can register for multiple webinars in this series at once.

Description: Since 2017, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) has been home to an active research program aimed at understanding the fate and effects of oil spills in freshwater systems. This program has been the combination of a number of complementary research projects where national and international experts aimed to answer questions ranging from the basic science of oil fate and behavior and its effects in the organisms inhabiting spill-impacted fresh waters, to more applied challenges, such as which remediation techniques are the most effective for these systems, and which ones can provide effective remediation while minimizing additional impacts to the system.

In this talk, Dr. Rodriguez Gil will summarize the different studies and their findings, focusing on some of the more field-applicable pieces in hopes of providing practitioners with helpful information for decision making in future fresh-water spills.

Presenter: Jose Luis Rodriguez Gil, Research Scientist at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Experimental Lakes Area (ELA)

The Role of a Scientific Support Coordinator in Oil Spill Response

August 28, 2024 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. EDT

Register: Registration is required. This is a virtual event. All of the webinars in this series are free and open to the public. Those who are interested can register for multiple webinars in this series at once.

Description: The presenter for HazMaTON’s August installment of the 2024 Summer Webinar Series is Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Chris Duffy, Great Lakes Scientific Support Coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). LCDR Duffy will provide information on what a NOAA Scientific Support Coordinator is and does, and what support is provided for the Great Lakes and U.S. Coast Guard District 9. LCDR Duffy will present case studies on incidents for which the Great Lakes Scientific Support Coordinator has been called to help with response. 

Presenter: Lieutenant Commander Chris Duffy, Great Lakes Scientific Support Coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Updates from the U.S. Coast Guard Great Lakes Oil Spill Center of Expertise

September 18, 2024 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. EDT

Register: Registration is required. This is a virtual event. All of the webinars in this series are free and open to the public. Those who are interested can register for multiple webinars in this series at once.

Description: In this final installment of the Hazardous Material Transport Outreach Network (HazMaTON) 2024 Summer Webinar Series, Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Kit Pace, Chief of the U.S. Coast Guard Great Lakes Oil Spill Center of Expertise (GLCOE) will provide a brief background on GLCOE, highlight GLCOE’s recent research on freshwater oil spill response tools and technologies, and provide information on upcoming funding opportunities. 

Presenter: Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Kit Pace, Chief, U.S. Coast Guard Great Lakes Oil Spill Center of Expertise (GLCOE)

Archived Webinars

Introduction to Tribal Spill Response Programs

October 26, 2023

Description: In this final installment of the Hazardous Material Transport Outreach Network (HazMaTON) 2023 Summer Webinar Series, a panel of presenters will provide an overview of three tribal spill response programs in the United States Region 5 Regional Response Team (RRT5).

RRT5 is the planning and coordination body for a geographic area spanning the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, including the upper Great Lakes, upper Mississippi River, and the Ohio River. There are 35 federally-acknowledged tribes within this geographic region.

Hazardous material spills do not acknowledge geographic boundaries, and when a significant spill occurs there is a need for many organizations, including tribal, federal, state, and provincial governments to aid in the response and cleanup. Coordinated response planning is crucial, and as sovereign nations, tribes have the authority to engage in spill preparedness and response activities to serve their communities.

Anyone with an interest in learning more about tribal emergency preparedness authority, examples of tribal spill response programs in the Great Lakes region, and cross-jurisdictional coordination of spill response will find this presentation informative. A live question and answer session will follow the presentation.

Panel presenters:

Presentation resources:


NRCan CanmetENERGY Science Research on Environmental Questions — How Does Oil Behave in Freshwater?

September 27, 2023

Register: Registration is required. This is a virtual event. All of the webinars in this series are free and open to the public. Those who are interested can register for multiple webinars in this series at once.

Description: Heather Dettman, senior science advisor for the Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) Multi-Partner Research Initiative will give a presentation about science research and development capabilities of the CanmetENERGY Facility in Devon, Alberta. Heather will also share about the insights gained from meso-scale tank tests of oil spills into freshwater.

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) CanmetENERGY research facilities are Canadian leaders for clean energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment to ensure that the most advanced science knowledge and technologies are available to minimize environmental impacts of energy production, transportation, and use.

Presenter: Heather Dettman, senior science advisor, Natural Resources Canada

Presentation resources:


Role of a Federal On-Scene Coordinator and How the Spill Response Community Prepares for Potential Spills Impacting Lake Champlain

September 6, 2023

Register: Registration is required. This is a virtual event. All of the webinars in this series are free and open to the public. Those who are interested can register for multiple webinars in this series at once.

Description: Crude oil and other hazardous materials are moved by rail along the New York shoreline of Lake Champlain and along the Hudson River. While the probability of a major derailment is low, emergency responders in the area prepare for major response events.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Federal On-Scene Coordinator Carl Pellegrino will give a presentation on his role as federal on-scene coordinator and shed light on the national structure for spill preparedness and emergency response, with emphasis to how it applies in the Lake Champlain region. A live question and answer session will follow the presentation.

Presenter: Carl Pellegrino, federal on-scene coordinator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Presentation resources:


Marine Firefighting: Preventing Environmental Threats While Saving Lives and Property

July 26, 2023

Register: Registration is required. This is a virtual event. All of the webinars in this series are free and open to the public. Those who are interested can register for multiple webinars in this series at once.

Description: This is the second webinar in the Hazardous Material Transport Outreach Network’s 2023 Summer Webinar Series. This webinar will provide an overview of salvage and marine firefighting services.

Topics covered in this presentation include:

  • Regulatory background
  • Incident command system and response priorities
  • Unique challenges of the marine firefighting industry
  • Case studies from the U.S. (including the Great Lakes region)

Anyone with an interest in the maritime industry, salvage and marine firefighting, and marine pollution response will find this presentation informative.

Presenter: Jim Elliot, chief operating officer, Teichman Group, LLC.

Presentation resources:


Great Lakes Coast Guard Oil Spill Center of Expertise

May 24, 2023

Description: This is the first webinar in the Hazardous Material Transport Outreach Network’s 2023 Summer Webinar Series. This webinar will provide an introduction to the Great Lakes Coast Guard Oil Spill Center of Expertise and its current and future scope of work. A question and answer session will follow the presentation.

Anyone with an interest in the development and evaluation of technology and equipment for oil spill detection, response, and remediation would benefit from this presentation.

Presenter: Lt. j.g. Alison Gates, assistant chief, U.S. Coast Guard, Great Lakes National Center of Expertise.

Presentation resources:


Why We Exercise, and What Happens After?

September 21, 2022

Description: Join the Hazardous Material Transport Outreach Network for the third and final installment in our 2022 summer webinar series. This webinar will demystify hazardous material spill preparedness and response exercises and networks. U.S. Coast Guard Emergency Manager Brian D.E. Streichert will answer the questions:

  • Who does what on a tribal, federal, state, and local level?
  • What takes place before a response?
  • What would happen if a spill were to occur within the upper Great Lakes?

Streichert will also take us behind the scenes of the recent U.S. Venture, U.S. Oil, and U.S. Coast Guard Equipment Drill that took place on July 19, 2022, at the U.S. Oil Terminal in Rogers City, Michigan. A live question and answer session will follow the presentation.

Presenter: Brian Streichert, Emergency Manager, U.S. Coast Guard, Sector Sault Sainte Marie.

Presentation resources:


Tribal Treaty Rights and Energy Infrastructure

July 20, 2022

Description: Join the Hazardous Material Transport Outreach Network (HazMaTON) for the second installment of our 2022 summer webinar series. This webinar will examine tribal treaty rights and how they apply to energy infrastructure projects, such as coal terminals and crude oil pipelines. Presenter Kekek Stark, assistant professor of law at the Alexander School of Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana will describe tribal law and treaty rights, their role in protecting natural resources, and the assertion of those rights by Native American and First Nations tribes as regulatory components to energy infrastructure projects. Stark will also provide historical and present-day examples of treaty interpretation by United States courts.

Presenter: Kekek Stark, Assistant Professor of Law, Co-Director of the Indian Law Program, Co-Director of the Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic, and Co-Director of the American Indian Governance and Policy Institute at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law of the University of Montana.

Presentation resources:


Fueling the Laurentian Great Lakes Region: Multiple Modes, Multiple Perspectives

June 15, 2022

Description: Join the Hazardous Material Transport Outreach Network for the first installment in our 2022 summer webinar series. This panel presentation and discussion will explore the movement of hazardous materials, with a focus on crude oil and its refined products, throughout the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River, Lake Champlain, and Hudson River regions from multiple perspectives. Panelists will provide background on multimodal crude oil transport pathways, the regional energy economy, environmental impacts of crude oil transportation, and social impacts of oil movement and spills. A facilitated question and answer period will follow the presentations.

Presenters and presentation titles:

Presentation resources:


Ramping Up and Ramping Down: Crude Oil Rail Shipments and Community Responses 2015 To Present From a Lake Champlain Perspective

June 24, 2020

Presenter: Mark Malchoff, Aquatic Resources Specialist, Lake Champlain Sea Grant.

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Conceptualizing a Risk-Based, Hazardous Material Routing Tool

July 22, 2020

Presenter: Kristin Lewis, Principal Technical Advisor, U.S. Department of Transportation Volpe Center.

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Collaborative Efforts To Model Potential Oil Spills in the Great Lakes

June 26, 2019

Presenter: Dr. Guy Meadows, Director, Great Lakes Research Center, Michigan Technological University.

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Oil Spill Response Exercises and Planning

July 23, 2019

Presenter: Steven Keck, Chief of Contingency Planning and Force Readiness, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste Marie, Michigan.

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Oil Spill Response Capability for Heavy Oil Products

August 19, 2019

Presenter: Bill Hazel, Vice President of Marine Services, Marine Pollution Control in Detroit, Michigan.

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NOAA Scientific Support for Oil Spills

September 11, 2019

Presenter: Lt. Michael Doig, NOAA Scientific Support Coordinator, U.S. Coast Guard Great Lakes District.

Presentation resources:


Summer 2016 Webinar Series

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