Oil Spill Prevention Planning

Exxon Valdez tanker leaking oil in Prince William Sound, April 13, 1989. Photo by Charles N. Ehler. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Collection, ARLIS.

 The council believes the best way to protect the environment from another disastrous oil spill is to have strong prevention measures in place to prevent the spill from happening in the first place. Photo by Charles N. Ehler. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Collection, ARLIS.

Through the oil spill prevention planning program, the council develops positions and recommendations on oil spill response technologies; reviews state and federal contingency plans and plan-related issues; promotes compliance with and enforcement and funding of existing environmental regulations; supports maintenance and improvement of the Alaska Coastal Management Program process; and promotes the incorporation of local knowledge of sensitive areas in contingency planning.

Oil Spill Prevention Planning Projects

Please see links in the sidebar for more information on projects within this program.

Recent Oil Spill Prevention Planning News:

Protecting Winter Wildlife from Oil Spills

By Lisa Matlock “What lives here in the winter?” This is a question anyone might ask when visiting Prince William Sound in the off-season. It is also a question recently asked by local organizations in order to better protect these rich waters and their wildlife occupants year-round from oil spills. The Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council worked with the Prince William Sound Science Center in 2016 to complete a biological resource inventory of winter species in the Sound. The goal of this project was to develop a detailed bibliography documenting the presence of all wildlife studied in the Sound during the winter since 1989. This project allows this information to be shared with anyone working or visiting the region. The resulting paper also identifies gaps in knowledge regarding the Sound’s winter species to be filled by future researchers. It provides valuable, scientifically accurate information that can be used by the Council and others to identify sensitive biological resources which informs oil spill contingency plans and helps spill responders and spill drill participants better consider winter species when protecting sensitive areas from harm. To see the list of winter species download the final report: Winter Species in Prince William Sound, Alaska, 1989-2016   Print PDF … Continue reading

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

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.

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Oil spill contingency plan reviewers needed

The Council is looking for experts who are familiar with oil spill contingency planning issues in Alaska.  This list identifies and prequalifies technical experts who may be called upon to offer expert advice on the Council’s issues and concerns. Print PDF

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Plan for applying dispersants to crude oil spills in Alaska waters updated

“The Council does not support the use of dispersants in our region, but with this new plan, responders are required to give more consideration before deciding to use dispersants,” said Donna Schantz, Executive Director for the Council.

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