By STEVE ROTHCHILD
Administrative Deputy Director
For two days in March, council board members Dorothy Moore and Robert Beedle, accompanied by staff members Mark Swanson and Steve Rothchild, visited our nation’s capital in an effort to highlight some of the council’s major concerns to Alaska’s congressional delegation and several others.
The trip was facilitated by the council’s Washington based legislative affairs monitor, Roy Jones.
The purpose of this trip was to continue the general practice of the council over the years of annually meeting with, briefing, and obtaining guidance from members of the Alaska delegation and others in the federal government on council activities and stakeholder concerns from throughout the Exxon Valdez oil spill region.
The group met with senior representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Senate and House committees with jurisdiction relevant to the Prince William Sound oil industry, and the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Oil Pollution Research. The group also met with Alyeska representative Kim Harb, based in Washington, D.C.
Visit to Alaska’s capital
A month previous to this trip, council members Amanda Bauer, Thane Miller and Patience Andersen-Faulkner accompanied staff members Swanson, Rothchild and Lisa Matlock to the State Capitol in Juneau for similar rounds of discussions with state legislators. The council’s legislative monitor in Juneau, Doug Mertz, helped facilitate this trip and attended many of the meetings with the group.
Items discussed during the Juneau visit were more locally focused than during the Washington trip. However, during both trips, the team made sure to highlight the corresponding 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the numerous prevention measures put in place through the years since the spill in 1989.