Opportunity for public comment: Changes proposed to process for public input on oil spills

The Alaska Regional Response Team, made up of state and federal agencies, recently proposed changes to the Alaska Federal/State Preparedness Plan for Response to Oil & Hazardous Substance Discharges/Releases, also known as the “Unified Plan,” which guides oil spill cleanup in Alaska. These changes would replace the Regional Stakeholder Committee, or RSC, the forum that has been used since the Exxon Valdez oil spill to communicate with those stakeholders affected by an incident such as an oil spill.

Read moreOpportunity for public comment: Changes proposed to process for public input on oil spills

Resolution in support of Exxon Valdez “Reopener for Unknown Injury”

The council's directors in Kodiak at the September 2015 board meeting.
The council’s directors in Kodiak at the September 2015 board meeting.

On Friday, September 18, 2015, the council’s board of directors unanimously passed a resolution in support of the “Reopener for Unknown Injury” from the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Multiple citizens called in during the public comment period to voice their opinions about this important issue.

Media release: Citizens’ Oversight Council calls for Agreement on Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration

Resolution 15-07 – “Supporting Habitat Restoration Pursuant to Damages Caused by the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill – in support of a meeting between the United States, the State of Alaska, Exxon, Inc., and the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustees Council.”

Full text of Resolution 15-07

Supporting Habitat Restoration Pursuant to Damages
Caused by the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

WHEREAS, the Exxon Valdez Settlement Agreement contains a reopener clause allowing the federal or state government to request additional funds from Exxon due to unanticipated remaining oil in the environment and subsequent failure of species to recover within Prince William Sound;

WHEREAS, in 2006, the United States and the State of Alaska presented to Exxon a comprehensive project plan for the cleanup of lingering oil at an estimated cost of $92 million;

Read moreResolution in support of Exxon Valdez “Reopener for Unknown Injury”

New law means sustainable funds for spill prevention and response in Alaska

Right: Governor Walker signs the law, witnessed by council staff member Steve Rothchild; the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Cathy Munoz of Juneau; and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s Commissioner Larry Hartig. Photo courtesy of the office of Governor Walker.
Governor Walker signs the law, witnessed by council staff member Steve Rothchild; the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Cathy Munoz of Juneau; and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s Commissioner Larry Hartig. Photo courtesy of the office of Governor Walker.

A new refined fuel products tax to fund Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s Spill Prevention and Response division was signed into law by Governor Walker on June 27.

The division had been facing a significant funding shortfall for some time as previous funding came solely from a per-barrel charge on crude oil produced in the state. Declining oil production meant decreasing funds.

Read moreNew law means sustainable funds for spill prevention and response in Alaska

How do you define burdensome?

By Amanda Bauer
Council President

As a personal rule, I try not to get caught up in the words that people choose. But there is one word that has been used so much in conversations about funding for oil spill prevention and response, and when talking about the cost-efficiency of regulations: that word is burdensome.

I would like to tell you about some things I would consider a burden.

Read moreHow do you define burdensome?

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