Who We Are

The Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council was formed after the Exxon Valdez oil spill to provide a voice for citizens affected by decisions related to the Alyeska pipeline terminal and associated tankers. Learn more: History of the council.

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Funds available for educational projects related to our mission

High school students on an expedition co-funded by this program in 2015 visited Valdez and met with our staff members to learn about the council and improvements in safe oil transportation since 1989.

High school students on an expedition co-funded by this program in 2015 visited Valdez and met with our staff members to learn about the council and improvements in safe oil transportation since 1989.

The council works to educate Exxon Valdez region youth about the environmentally safe operation of the Alyeska terminal and associated tankers. Working with area youth is vital to fight complacency that can arise if new generations of citizens are not continually reminded of the need for ongoing oil spill prevention.

To support this effort, the council is inviting proposals for facilitating learning experiences with Exxon Valdez oil spill region youth.

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Council board to meet in Valdez in May

The council’s board of directors will hold a board meeting in Valdez on Thursday and Friday, May 5 and 6, 2016.

The tentative schedule for the Thursday session is to run from 8:30 am to 4:45 pm. On Friday, the meeting is scheduled to begin at 8:30 am and adjourn at 2:00 pm. The meeting is open to the public, except for executive sessions.

MASTER OF DISASTER – FREE EVENT – In conjunction with the board meeting, council staff, volunteers, and interns are hosting a family-friendly, “Master of Disaster” event after the board meeting. The event will be held Friday, May 6 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in and around the Civic Center. Valdez residents of all ages are invited to attend and learn about oil spill response through seven fun and interactive stations. Each participant who fills up their “Master of Disaster” passport given at the door will receive a free gift. More information: Become a Master of Disaster!

Public comments are tentatively scheduled to be taken Thursday starting at 8:55 am.

On the agenda:

  • An overview of the standards for the escort tugs, barges, and other equipment that is required for oil spill prevention and response in Prince William Sound
  • A presentation about potential changes by the Alaska Regional Response Team to the Regional Stakeholder Committee, that allows stakeholders an opportunity to provide input in the event of an oil spill or pollution incident
  • A presentation on how oil dispersants may impact the health of wildlife
  • A presentation on recent changes to how dispersants are approved for use in Alaska
  • An update on council outreach activities for the past year

The following scientific reports and studies will be discussed for approval by the council:

  • The potential use of satellite imagery for early detection of oil spills
  • An analysis of ballast water discharge from Prince William Sound tankers

Council board meetings are routinely recorded, and may be disseminated to the public by the council or the news media.

Download meeting materials:

A final agenda is now available: Final Agenda for May 5 and 6 Meeting of PWSRCAC Board of Directors

Meeting materials are available here: May 2016 Meeting of the PWSRCAC Board of Directors

Opportunity for public comment: Changes proposed to process for public input on oil spills

UPDATE: THE DEADLINE FOR PUBLIC COMMENT HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO MAY 31.

The Alaska Regional Response Team, made up of state and federal agencies, has proposed changes to the Alaska Federal/State Preparedness Plan for Response to Oil & Hazardous Substance Discharges/Releases, also known as the “Unified Plan,” which guides oil spill cleanup in Alaska. These changes would replace the Regional Stakeholder Committee, or RSC, the forum that has been used since the Exxon Valdez oil spill to communicate with those stakeholders affected by an incident such as an oil spill.

A 30-day public review period for changes to the RSC portion of the language contained in the Unified Plan began on March 25, 2016. Public comments are due by April 29, 2016 May 31, 2016.

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Take a peek at the work we’ve been doing!

Every year, the council updates its compendium of scientific research and technical reports. The compendium is an excellent overview of the work we do. It includes summaries and links to our scientific research and technical projects. The compendium includes council reports from the start of our research efforts in the early 1990’s through 2015.  Researchers, educators, media, and anyone wanting to know about oil spill science will find information on topics such as dispersants, hydrocarbon toxicity, invasive species, oil spill prevention and response technologies, and much more.  Continue reading

Alyeska and City of Valdez agree to plan for joint firefighting response

By AUSTIN LOVE
Council Project Manager

Alyeska’s new fire and rescue engine, known as “Squad 1,” is at the terminal and ready for action. Photo courtesy of Alyeska.

Alyeska’s new fire and rescue engine, known as “Squad 1,” is at the terminal and ready for action. Photo courtesy of Alyeska.

In December, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company and the City of Valdez agreed to a plan for the Alyeska Fire Brigade and the Valdez Fire Department to work together to fight fires. This agreement defines the roles, relationships, jurisdiction, and responsibilities of the two parties in advance of an emergency. The agreement provides the framework for a coordinated emergency response within Valdez city limits.

The council supports the agreement as it will improve the ability of Alyeska Fire Brigade and the Valdez Fire Department to work in coordination both on and off Valdez Marine Terminal property. The agreement will help limit the possible loss of life and property in the event of an emergency, and decrease the potential environmental impacts of a fire at the terminal.

The agreement says that the Alyeska Fire Brigade may assist the Valdez Fire Department during an emergency within the city limits but off of Alyeska property. While not required to do so, Alyeska may provide emergency assistance to the City of Valdez, if a number of conditions are met. Foremost, their service must be specifically requested by the Valdez Fire Department and Alyeska must be able to maintain their minimum required fire and rescue staffing levels at the terminal even while assisting the City of Valdez. Alyeska will not charge the city for emergency services under this agreement. Continue reading