Report identifies concerns with tanker escort tugs being built for service in Prince William Sound

The council has identified some areas of concern with the design of the new escort and general purpose tugs under construction by Edison Chouest Offshore for use in Prince William Sound. These concerns and recommendations result from a council-commissioned analysis of the tugs by Robert Allan Ltd., a naval architecture and marine engineering company. Edison Chouest Offshore is taking over the marine services contract for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company in the summer of 2018. Crowley Maritime has held the contract since the creation of Alyeska’s Ship Escort/Response Vessel System after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The services provided under this contract include escort tugs, general purpose tugs, oil recovery storage barges, and associated personnel, all of which are key oil spill prevention and response assets for the Valdez Marine Terminal and associated oil tankers operating in Prince William Sound. Robert Allan Ltd. was contracted by the council to review and evaluate drawings and other vessel design materials provided by Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. This review includes information that was provided to the council as of December 14, 2016. Print PDF

Council board meeting held in Anchorage

The council’s board of directors met on January 19 and 20, 2017. Topics included on the agenda included: Presentations by Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, and PWSRCAC regarding the change in Alyeska’s marine services contract provider from Crowley Maritime to Edison Chouest Offshore set to take place July 1, 2018. These services include key oil spill prevention and response assets such as escort tugs, oil recovery barges and associated personnel for service in Prince William Sound. A presentation by council contractor Robert Allan LTD outlining some concerns and recommendations on the new escort and support tugs being built by Edison Chouest Offshore for the marine services transition. Robert Allan LTD is a firm of internationally-recognized naval architects and marine engineers known for their innovative designs for vessels of almost all types, from high-performance tugs to ferries to sophisticated research vessels. A presentation by the co-chair of the Alaska Regional Response Team on their recent activities. The Alaska Regional Response Team is in charge of planning responses to oil spills in Alaska waters. A presentation by council staff on the Alaska Regional Response Team’s public outreach efforts to identify dispersant use avoidance areas. This process is part of the January 2016 update to Alaska’s Dispersant Use Plan for Alaska, and is designed to help identify areas 24 to 200 miles from Alaska’s coastline where the use of dispersants should require additional consideration prior to being used. A presentation from council staff regarding cracking that was found and repaired in the lining of one of the secondary containment systems at the Valdez Marine Terminal. In the event of a spill from a crude oil storage tank, secondary containment systems are designed to prevent oil from polluting surface or groundwater resources. Print PDF … Continue reading

Council board meeting held in Valdez

The council’s board of directors recently held a board meeting in Valdez. 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 Print PDF … 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. Print PDF … Continue reading