Latest News & Announcements

Board of directors to meet in Valdez

Valdez, AlaskaThe council’s board of directors will meet May 7 and 8 in Valdez, Alaska at Bayside Community Church (Map). Agenda items include:

  • A new report on the effects of dispersants on Alaska whales
  • A new report on effects of long-term exposure of Prince William Sound shrimp to low levels of crude oil
  • An update on the secondary containment system at the terminal
  • A presentation on Columbia Glacier iceberg monitoring
  • Updates from shippers and owner companies
  • Updates from Alyeska on recent activities

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Stories of the early years and formation of the council released

Stories from a citizens' councilOne of the most radical innovations to come out of the Exxon Valdez spill was the establishment of permanent, industry-funded citizen oversight to promote the environmentally safe operation of the oil industry. It’s now been over a quarter of a century since the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council was formed.

To mark that anniversary, the council is releasing this collection of stories about the formation and early development of the council, and the hopes and intentions of some who were closely involved with early days of the council.

These stories help us understand how citizens and the oil industry rallied together to create an oversight group to protect Prince William Sound from future oil spills.

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The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking public comment on the proposed decommissioning of their oil spill response equipment caches located throughout Alaska

This equipment is pre-positioned in remote areas to help local communities mount an early response to pollution incidents in order to minimize environmental damage.  The justification for their removal is mostly due to the cost of maintaining this equipment because of the remote location of many of the sites.  Another justification is that many of the caches are co-located with other oil spill response equipment owned by private oil spill response organizations or the State of Alaska.  More information on the specific locations of the USCG Alaska-based equipment caches, including a complete inventory of equipment at each location, can be found at:

D17 District Response Advisory Team (DRAT)

The council strongly supports retaining the USCG equipment caches in our region, including Chenega Bay, Cordova, Valdez, Port Graham, Seward, Kodiak, Homer and Kenai.  Equipment caches in locations outside our region are equally important for the same reasons, and span from the Pribilof Islands to Unalaska all the way down to Ketchikan (see U.S. Coast Guard map with specific locations).  Continue reading

Then and Now – 25 years of citizen involvement following the Exxon Valdez oil spill

Then and Now - 25 years of citizen involvement following the Exxon Valdez oil spill - cover

Twenty-six years ago today, the Exxon Valdez struck Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, spilling an estimated 11 million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound. While the immediate cause of the spill lies with the captain and crew, complacency on the part of the oil industry, regulators, and the public played a part in the disaster.

Many improvements have been made since 1989. Regulators, the oil industry, and citizens have all worked together to improve the prevention and response system in the Sound. Among many other improvements:

  • Tankers are all double-hulled
  • Loaded tankers are all escorted by two powerful tugs with response equipment on board
  • Local fishermen are contracted and trained to help respond to an oil spill
  • Oil spill contingency plans containing details on how to prevent and respond to an oil spill are now mandatory

Despite improvements, constant vigilance is still needed to prevent a return of the complacency that allowed the Exxon Valdez spill to happen.

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