Amendment to industry’s plan for preventing and responding to oil spills approved

Council concerned that hard-fought protections would be delayed

In October, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, or ADEC, approved an amendment to Alyeska’s contingency plan for oil spills from the Valdez Marine Terminal.

New oil skimming systems

One of the major changes incorporates new oleophilic oil skimmers, which will also be on the soon-to-arrive Edison Chouest barges, into the plan. These skimmers, along with the Current Buster booming system, make up a more advanced oil recovery system. The new system allows responders to operate and collect oil for longer periods, as less water is collected requiring less storage. Continue reading

Steve Lewis: How a grizzly bear hide resulted in safer tanker traffic in Alaska

Volunteer profile

Steve Lewis

Steve Lewis hails from a large family of farmers and ranchers who settled in Colorado and Nebraska in the late 1800s. When he was little, his father was in the U.S. Navy and often at sea, so Lewis spent a lot of time at his Uncle Chester’s house.

“It was a typical high-plains two story farmhouse,” Lewis recalls. Uncle Chester loved hunting and fishing, and Lewis has vivid memories of his uncle’s trophies from a trip to Alaska.

Along the stairwell, a Kodiak brown bear pelt reached from bottom of the first floor almost to the ceiling of the second floor. Little Lewis had to run past that bear to get to his bedroom, where a moose head hung.

“I KNEW that the other half of that moose was on the other side of that wall, and he was going to come through and get me.”

“So that was my introduction to Alaska.”

North to Alaska

Fortunately for the Council, that imaginative kid never lost his fascination with the state.

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From Alyeska: Safety is a priority for Alyeska and all our contractors

Tom Barrett
President of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company

I appreciate the opportunity to share with you some of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company’s perspectives as we continue work to keep the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, or TAPS, economically and technically durable for Alaska’s future, able to safely transport oil that remains a foundation of Alaska’s economy. One major investment we’re making for the future is substantially upgrading the fleet that supports tanker movements and emergency response for Prince William Sound. As transition to our new marine services contractor continues, momentum is building – six modern tugs and barges have already launched, and two tugs completed sea trials in January. We will all see significant activity this spring as vessels and crews begin arriving in the Sound.

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Lally joins Council staff

Joe Lally

The Council is welcoming a familiar face to its staff this spring. Former U.S. Coast Guard Commander Joseph T. Lally has stepped into the position of director of programs.

Lally served as commanding officer of the Marine Safety Unit Valdez from June 2014 through July 2017. One of the duties of that position is to represent the Coast Guard as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the Council.

Lally served the Coast Guard for 27 years, most recently as compliance and analysis division chief at the Coast Guard’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., before retiring earlier this year. Over the years, he held a variety of assignments. Lally has an extensive background in oil spill/hazardous substance response and prevention, including federal policy writing, conducting marine inspections and investigations, and leading emergency responses as the federal on-scene coordinator. He worked with agency and industry partners, and non-governmental organizations to enhance marine safety, prevention, preparedness, and response nationwide.

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