Recognizing the 30th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill

Resolution 19-01:

Recognizing the 30th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, supporting high standards and safeguards for the Valdez Marine Terminal and associated tankers, and continued work to create the best response system possible should prevention measures fail

Floating oil spill boom from Exxon Valdez oil spill
Tangled boom from the 1989 cleanup. Photo by Charles Ehler, courtesy of Alaska Resource Library & Information Services.

Whereas, on March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef and spilled an estimated 11 million gallons of crude oil and oiling some 1,300 miles of Alaska coastline;

Whereas, March 24, 2019, marks 30 years since this disaster;

Whereas, Congress determined that complacency on the part of industry and government was a contributing factor in the accident and mandated citizen involvement in the oversight of crude oil terminals and tankers;

Whereas, the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council, an independent non-profit corporation whose mission, as mandated by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, is to promote environmentally safe operation of the Valdez Marine Terminal and associated tankers;

Whereas, the Council represents communities, commercial fishing, aquaculture, Alaska Native, recreation, tourism, and environmental organizations in the region adversely impacted by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill;

Read moreRecognizing the 30th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill

Anchorage Board meeting held in January

The Council held a board meeting in Anchorage on Thursday and Friday, January 24 and 25, 2019. 

Topics on the agenda included:

  • An overview from the U.S. Coast Guard on work to date, concerns, and future plans regarding Valdez Narrows navigation safety during fish openers.
  • An activity report by Alyeska Pipeline Service Company on Valdez Marine Terminal and Ship Escort/Response Vessel System operations, including Alyeska’s recent reorganization.
  • A presentation by Council staff on the heavy weather related incidents that occurred on November 12, and two subsequent severe weather events, with Council recommendations to develop procedures to improve crew safety and the safe transportation of oil.
  • A presentation by U.S. Coast Guard on the Alaska Regional Contingency Plan and updates that have been implemented.
  • A report that identifies and reviews non-destructive methods that could be used at the Valdez Marine Terminal to test the integrity of the buried secondary containment liners at the East Tank Farm.
  • A report on weather related conditions at Hinchinbrook Entrance and their effects on the feasibility of efficient and safe rescue operations by tanker escort vessels.
  • A summary by Council staff of incidents (e.g., oil spills, fires, malfunctions causing shutdowns, navigational closures, tanker/escort problems) for the terminal or tankers that occurred in 2018.

Council board meetings are routinely recorded, and may be disseminated to the public by the council or by the news media.

Meeting agenda and documents