Recognizing the 30th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill

Resolution 19-01:

Recognizing the 30th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, supporting high standards and safeguards for the Valdez Marine Terminal and associated tankers, and continued work to create the best response system possible should prevention measures fail

Floating oil spill boom from Exxon Valdez oil spill
Tangled boom from the 1989 cleanup. Photo by Charles Ehler, courtesy of Alaska Resource Library & Information Services.

Whereas, on March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef and spilled an estimated 11 million gallons of crude oil and oiling some 1,300 miles of Alaska coastline;

Whereas, March 24, 2019, marks 30 years since this disaster;

Whereas, Congress determined that complacency on the part of industry and government was a contributing factor in the accident and mandated citizen involvement in the oversight of crude oil terminals and tankers;

Whereas, the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council, an independent non-profit corporation whose mission, as mandated by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, is to promote environmentally safe operation of the Valdez Marine Terminal and associated tankers;

Whereas, the Council represents communities, commercial fishing, aquaculture, Alaska Native, recreation, tourism, and environmental organizations in the region adversely impacted by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill;

Whereas, the Council has advocated for environmental safeguards to prevent oil spills and a strong response system should prevention measures fail for Prince William Sound and its downstream communities for the past 30 years;

Whereas, since 1989, measures developed with participation from the Council represent vast improvements in oil spill prevention and response and many of the safety improvements now in place in Prince William Sound are the direct result of partnerships and considerable effort on the part of industry, regulators, and citizens;

Whereas, since the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company and the crude oil shippers have created a world-class oil spill prevention and response system in Prince William Sound;

The combination of the new Crucial skimmers with Buster boom systems have increased oil skimming efficiency since 1989.

Whereas, Alyeska’s Ship Escort/Response Vessel System (SERVS) provides the capability of immediate, on-scene response should an oil spill occur;

Whereas, in the event that an oil spill occurs, it is vitally important that response plans and equipment have been maintained and personnel have been trained to respond rapidly;

Now therefore be it resolved, for this historic commemoration, the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council advocates that the highest standards and safeguards be maintained for the Valdez Marine Terminal and associated tankers and continued work to create and maintain the best tanker escort/oil spill response system possible.

Passed and approved by the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council Board of Directors on 22 day of March, 2019.