Terminal Operations

Valdez Marine Terminal

Oil storage tanks at the Valdez Marine Terminal.

This program identifies actual and potential sources of episodic and chronic pollution at the Valdez Marine Terminal.

Through the Terminal Operations Program, the council:

– Monitors and comments on air and water quality standards
– Reviews operating permits and protocols
– Conducts independent research on topics such as corrosion and piping inspection technologies
– Monitors terminal operations and maintenance

Through the work of this program a number of significant improvements have been made at the terminal to reduce its environmental impacts. Prior to 1998, large amounts of hydrocarbon vapors, including known carcinogens such as benzene, were released into the atmosphere as crude oil was loaded onto tanker ships. The program helped advocate for a vapor recovery system to capture those harmful vapors and in 1998 Alyeska finished installing a vapor recovery systems on its two active loading berths, eliminating the emission of those hydrocarbons. Prior to 2009, the ballast water treatment facility on the terminal was also a large source of atmospheric emissions of hydrocarbons. The reason for this was because one of the treatment stages, dissolved air flotation, was open to the atmosphere allowing hydrocarbons to escape. Through this program the council advocated that these vapors be contained and in 2009-2010 Alyeska covered the dissolved air flotation tanks, eliminating this source of air contamination.

Terminal Operations Projects

Please see links in the sidebar for more information on projects related to the Valdez Marine Terminal.

Terminal Operations – Recent News:

Interactive Digital Map of the Valdez Marine Terminal

The Council is is inviting proposals for a project to create an interactive digital map of the Valdez Marine Terminal. The terminal is a large, complex facility with many different assets working together to temporarily store crude oil received from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and load it onto tanker ships for transit through Prince William Sound. Currently, the Council has most of this information in various reports, drawings, photos, and maps but this information is not all stored in one place. This project seeks to gather all the geographic and descriptive information the Council currently has on file regarding the physical assets located on the terminal, and use that information to create a digital map. A major part of the Council’s work is reviewing the environmentally safe operation and maintenance of the Valdez Marine Terminal; this map is intended to be used as an tool to achieve that objective. Print PDF … Continue reading

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Tom Kuckertz: Retired staff member still contributes engineering expertise to council’s mission

The council has benefited from Chicago-born Tom Kuckertz’ broad experience in engineering for 16 years and counting. After his retirement from the council in 2014, Kuckertz continued on as a volunteer for the committee he worked with most closely, the Terminal Operations and Environmental Monitoring Committee. A young Kuckertz earned degrees in electrical engineering at the University of Illinois and the University of Idaho, followed by two years in the U.S. Army as a Signal Corps officer, where he was involved in the design and implementation of large communications systems. “Basically, it involved how to move information from one place to another, and in most cases, deny access to adversaries,” explained Kuckertz. Print PDF … Continue reading

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From Alyeska: Pipe inspections on terminal finds no repairs needed

Submitted by Alyeska Corporate Communications. This summer, Alyeska’s multi-year internal inspection program of Valdez Marine Terminal piping included inspecting buried relief system and crude oil piping in and around the East Metering building, and from West Metering to the end of Berth 5. Much of this piping is encased in concrete and was considered “uninspectable” until recent advances in inspection technology. Crews started in the spring, working in and around the East Metering building where oil enters the Terminal and is measured as part of the pipeline leak detection system. They built containment and installed equipment to allow for system isolation. The roof was modified so cranes could remove large segments of pipe from the building and return them after the inspection. During a scheduled maintenance shutdown in June, TAPS personnel drained down and isolated the impacted piping around East Metering. Once the shutdown was completed, a contractor cleaned the pipe with special equipment that limited physical entry into the pipe. Crews removed several 90-degree pipe segments to create access points for the crawler pig (see photos) that carries the inspection tool through the pipe. Pigs inspected approximately 2,100 feet of pipe ranging from 16 to 36 inches in diameter. Alyeska integrity management staff analyzed the data, and found no needed repairs and no significant impact to pipeline or Terminal operations. The piping has returned to service. Print PDF … Continue reading

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Marine services for Alyeska to change hands in 2018

Update: This article ran in the May issue of our newsletter, The Observer, stay tuned for updates in the next issue! Crowley Marine Services, the contractor who provides oil spill prevention and response services to Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, will no longer provide those services after June 30, 2018. Crowley has held this contract with Alyeska since the company created its Ship Escort/Response Vessel System, also known as SERVS, after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Crowley also provided tanker docking services since 1977, and helped dock the first tanker at the Valdez terminal. Crowley owns the powerful tugboats that escort loaded oil tankers through Prince William Sound. The tugs also scout for ice drifting from nearby Columbia Glacier, and are equipped to start cleaning up a spill or tow a disabled tanker if needed. In addition to the escort tugs, Crowley owns response tugs that help the tankers dock and other support vessels and barges stationed in Prince William Sound which contain Alyeska’s boom, skimmers, and other equipment for a quick response to an oil spill. Crowley employs 230 mariners and 17 administrative personnel in the area. Print PDF … Continue reading

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