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:
The Council is beginning a project to better define weather at the Hinchinbrook Entrance to Prince William Sound, Alaska. Wind and wave conditions affect the transit of oil-laden tankers through Hinchinbrook Entrance, and can impact an oil spill response. This project will look at wind speed and wave height in particular, as they most affect escort tugs attempting to rescue a stricken tanker at Hinchinbrook Entrance. Additionally, the study will look at navigability for oil spill response vessels and the probability of the concurrent occurrence of darkness, freezing temperature, rain, snow, fog (low visibility), and sea spray icing conditions. The Council hopes to answer two questions from this research: How often do extreme events and/or closure conditions (winds at 45 knots or seas exceeding 15 feet at Seal Rocks) occur at Hinchinbrook Entrance? How well does the definition or identification of a closure condition reflect the conditions actually experienced by vessels? Print PDF … Continue reading
The Council is looking for experts who are familiar with oil spill contingency planning issues in Alaska to help the Council review spill contingency plans related to the Alyeska terminal and associated tankers. The Council participates in public reviews related to: The Prince William Sound crude oil tanker oil spill contingency plans The Valdez Marine Terminal oil spill contingency plan Federal/State Preparedness Plans for Response to Oil and Hazardous Substance Discharges/Releases. Review and implementation of conditions of plan approvals placed on the plans by state or federal regulatory agencies Other continuous improvement processes, proposed amendments to the plans, and other plan-related issues when appropriate We are hoping to identify and pre-qualify technical experts who may be called upon to offer expert advice on the Council’s issues and concerns. Interested technical experts are encouraged to submit a statement of qualifications listing their expertise for consideration. Print PDF … Continue reading
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 conducting independent review of vessel designs By July of 2018, Edison Chouest Offshore, or ECO, of Louisiana will be the marine services contractor for oil tankers and the terminal in Prince William Sound. Until then, Alyeska and ECO will be working with Crowley Maritime, the contractor who currently provides those services, on a smooth transition between the two contractors. These services 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 Prince William Sound. For instance, two state-of-the-art escort tugs accompany every laden tanker that leaves Port Valdez. One tug is tethered through the confined waterway called the Valdez Narrows, and one tug stands by at Hinchinbrook Entrance until the tanker is 17 miles into the Gulf of Alaska. The primary responsibility of these escort tugs is to rescue or “save” a tanker that may experience problems and prevent oil from spilling, and initiate response efforts should these prevention measures fail. Print PDF … Continue reading