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.

Latest News

Long-time employee appointed as head of council

Donna Schantz

The council announced at its January 22 meeting that Director of Programs Donna Schantz has been promoted to the position of executive director. Schantz replaces Mark Swanson, who retired from the council in November of last year. Since then, Schantz has served as acting executive director.

“The council is very fortunate to have someone with Donna’s organizational knowledge and history to lead us into the future,” said Amanda Bauer, president of the council board. “I am confident her commitment to our mission and her positive attitude will significantly strengthen relationships within the council, as well as with our industry and regulatory partners, as these relationships are a critical component to achieving our mission.”

Continue reading

What is an oil spill contingency plan?

Click image to download larger graphic (3MB)

An oil spill contingency plan is a document which contains both:

  • Detailed information on steps to be taken before an oil spill to prevent a spill from happening
  • Detailed instructions describing activities that will be done during and after an accident to clean up an oil spill.

What is the Prince William Sound Tanker Oil Spill Contingency Plan?

This contingency plan describes the measures Prince William Sound shippers take to try to prevent, or clean up, an oil spill from a tanker.

Planning for prevention

Preventing an oil spill is the most effective strategy to protect human health and the environment. The tanker contingency plan contains detailed descriptions of the steps and equipment shippers are using to keep oil out of the water. Examples include:

  • A tanker escort system to help rescue a tanker in distress
  • The U.S. Coast Guard’s vessel traffic system that helps guide tankers safely in and out of Prince William Sound
  • Equipment that is in place to prevent oil or other chemicals from discharging into the water
  • Alcohol and drug testing which are required for mariners
  • Maintaining equipment to keep proper function
  • Tankers following speed limits and staying in designated lanes
  • The system may be restricted or closed completely during dangerous weather or when ice is present
  • Thorough training for mariners in the safe use of all equipment.

Planning for response 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

Report shows air pollutants in Prince William Sound reduced by hundreds of tons per year

By AUSTIN LOVE
Council Project Manager

A new council study found that the low-sulfur fuel used in oil tankers has resulted in far less air pollution from crude oil tankers than just a few years ago.

The study, by Starcrest Consulting Group, evaluated the air pollution from tankers that traveled through Prince William Sound during 2014. The study looked at three air pollutants: nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and sulfur oxides. These pollutants are produced by internal combustion engines and released in a vessel’s exhaust. Each of the pollutants can have negative impacts on human health, contributing to heart and lung disease. Researchers calculated the amount of each of these pollutants that would have been released if the tankers had been using fuel with a sulfur content of 2.7, 1.0, or 0.1 percent. The results were then compared to determine the amount reduced. Continue reading

Community Corner: The importance of public comment

By Lisa Matlock
Outreach Coordinator

Lisa Matlock

The council regularly provides public comment on behalf of our 18 member entities on matters that support our mission of safe oil transportation in Prince William Sound. We are proud of our role as advocates on many technical topics of importance to our local citizenry. Continue reading