State of the Environment

Content last updated in 2012.

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) has been in operation since 1977. During 25-plus years of operation, approximately 13 billion barrels of oil have been loaded into tankers at the Valdez Marine Terminal (VMT).

To accommodate the crude oil loaded onto tankers, approximately 126 billion gallons (three billion barrels) of oily ballast water were offloaded, treated, and subsequently discharged into Port Valdez. The cumulative discharge from the years of VMT operations into Port Valdez also includes approximately 13,000 barrels of non-water-soluble total recoverable oil and grease (TROG). Emissions into the Valdez air shed include approximately 30,000 tons of BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene). This project seeks to identify cumulative, adverse, long-term environmental effects occasioned by the introduction of the large quantities of pollutants into Valdez’s air and water. The project is in its early stages and will consist of literature searches and analyses performed by contractors supplemented by a few gap-filling measurements.

PWSRCAC believes that filling the “holes” in the environmental knowledge of Port Valdez as reported by various public and private entities is an appropriate way to start the project. Further exploration of the following concepts are planned:

• coordination with LTEMP and the addition of LTEMP sites in Port Valdez
• adopting the publication “A Regional Multiple-Stressor Ecological Risk Assessment for Port Valdez, Alaska” as the baseline for starting the project.