The council’s role in an oil spill
During a spill, the council has four primary tasks:
It is important for the council to have unrestricted access to spill operations to gain a thorough knowledge of spill response progress, planning, and effectiveness. This knowledge and in-depth understanding of the facts used to make operational decisions enable the council’s representatives to fully inform the citizens of actions taken to mitigate spill impact in their areas. This builds confidence in the system and guarantees the most effective use of local resources.
Independent verification of operations progress lends credibility to the spill response process. On-scene observations by the council’s team members can validate the accuracy of information supplied to incident commanders. Independent verification also ensures that the information passed to the communities in the region is factual and supportable.
It is of paramount importance to disseminate timely, factual information to communities in the spill impact area. In the absence of such information, local resources may be diverted to tasks that do not support the organized spill response effort. The role of the council is to provide citizens of the region with the highest possible level of timely, independently verified, accurate information on the progress of spill response. The council is not an arm of the industry’s public relations and should not be considered as such; it does not replace nor does it augment the industry’s community relations.
The council represents diverse segments of the Prince William Sound coastal regions and downstream communities. Communities, fisheries, aquaculture, environmental, Native, subsistence, and recreational users all have directors on the council. These groups possess a storehouse of local knowledge gathered over many years. This wealth of information can prove invaluable to the incident commanders faced with an oil spill.
Our Incident Response Plan
The Incident Response Plan is a living document, continually revised as new information becomes available and lessons are learned through drills and actual responses. Although the plan is designed as a guidance tool for response, it is not intended to limit the council’s response if another course of action is deemed most effective at the time of emergency.
The council’s Incident Response Plan provides guidelines for the council to respond effectively during an oil spill or other incident involving oil transportation in the sound.
Scientific Response Plan
The council has developed numerous scientific resources through its project studies. These resources may provide valuable information during an incident response. The Scientific Response Plan uses the council’s existing Long Term Environmental Monitoring Project sampling plan, sites, and protocols as a basis for doing sampling of mussel tissues, sediment and water after an incident.