Board passes resolution commending Douglas K. Mertz

Resolution 19-02:

Commending and Expressing Gratitude for Douglas K. Mertz’s Dedication
and Service to the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council and the State of Alaska

Photo of appreciation gift presented to Doug Mertz and Margo Waring.
Appreciation gift presented to Doug Mertz and Margo Waring by Board President Robert Archibald and Executive Director Donna Schantz on May 3, 2019.

Whereas, Douglas K. Mertz launched his Alaska legal career in 1974 as Law Clerk to Hon. Jay A. Rabinowitz, Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court, quickly advancing to several Assistant Attorney General positions he held in Fairbanks and Juneau from 1975 to 1991, before entering private law practice in 1991;

Whereas, one of Doug Mertz’s primary areas of focus in over 45 years of legal practice in Alaska has been oil transportation and pollution issues;

Whereas, Doug Mertz was the State of Alaska’s primary counsel on spill matters and Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) regulation from 1977-1990;

Whereas, Doug Mertz represented the State for the Chevron v. Hammond case in the U.S. Court of Appeals, establishing that state oil spill penalties are not preempted by federal law;

Whereas, Doug Mertz was the senior spill attorney for the State of Alaska during the Exxon Valdez oil spill, including establishing the evidence gathering system used by the State during the initial days of the spill;

Whereas, after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Doug Mertz served as the main state attorney working on revisions to state oil spill liability and financial responsibility laws and advised the Governor’s Office on provisions of Oil Pollution Act of 1990;

Whereas, in addition to serving as the Alaska representative and chair of National Association of Attorneys General Oil Spill Committee in 1990, Doug Mertz has served as the initial Alaska representative to oil spill legal issues committee of the Pacific States – British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force;

Whereas, Doug Mertz has authored many reports, papers, and other important legal documents about oil spill legislation, planning, and response, such as the State of Alaska’s Legal Contingency Plan for Major Oil Spills;

Whereas, Doug Mertz received an official Citation from the Alaska Legislature in 2008 for public service and pro bono legal services in public interest and in defense of civil liberties;

Whereas, for the past 23 years, Doug Mertz, along with his partner Margo Waring, have worked tirelessly to track, monitor, and analyze legislative issues related to the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council’s (Council’s) mission including representing the Council at legislative committee hearings, conveying the Council’s concerns and recommendations to state officials at many levels, and coordinating meetings, receptions, or other events with the Governor, legislators, and other key state officials;

Whereas, Doug and Margo have assisted the Council on a broad array of mission related issues including, but not limited to, the legislature’s adoption of a resolution in support of maintaining dual escorts, improving the Oil and Hazardous Substance Release and Prevention Fund and increasing funds available for prevention and response efforts, promoting legislation to prevent the spread of marine invasive species through tanker ballast water exchange, strengthening the negotiated regulation making process, providing advice on air and water quality legislation, and research on various other special projects;

Whereas, Doug Mertz has announced his retirement as legislative monitor for the Council.

Now therefore be it resolved, that the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council commends and expresses gratitude to Doug Mertz for his many years of dedication to oil spill prevention and response and for his 23 years of service as a legislative monitor for the Council; and,

Be it further resolved, that the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council’s staff and volunteers will greatly miss Doug Mertz’s guidance and wish he and his family the very best.

Passed and approved by the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council Board of Directors on 3rd day of May, 2019.