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. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Council recertified by Coast Guard through March 2019

The Coast Guard has recertified the Council as meeting its responsibilities under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. In a February 28 letter to the Council, Rear Admiral Michael McAllister, commander of the Coast Guard’s District 17 in Juneau, notified the Council of the recertification. The 1990 Act requires the Council to reapply yearly for the Coast Guard’s approval as the official citizens’ advisory group to the oil industry in Prince William Sound. Guidelines established in 2002 streamlined the recertification process for two out of three years, with every third year requiring stricter procedures. The Council underwent the streamlined version this year. The comprehensive process, which includes a public comment period, will be required again in 2020. The new recertification expires in March 1, 2019.

Community Corner: Citizen scientists help the Council monitor our region

By Lisa Matlock, Outreach Coordinator

Lisa Matlock

One of the Council’s federal mandates involves environmental monitoring. With a small staff and vast geographic area, this monitoring takes many forms. Monitoring is often done by staff or contractors, but some monitoring takes place thanks to the Council’s volunteers and interns - all citizen scientists. Since 2014, the Council has had high school interns in the community of Cordova who help monitor for aquatic invasive species. Three interns, Sarah Hoepfner, Cadi Moffitt, and currently Cori Pegau, have volunteered to hang sturdy plastic “settling plates” in the Cordova harbor each spring, to be picked up in the fall. The interns check the organisms that accumulate on the plate for critters such as invasive tunicates and bryozoans. Continue reading