The Council is looking for experts who are familiar with oil spill contingency planning issues in Alaska. This list identifies and prequalifies technical experts who may be called upon to offer expert advice on the Council’s issues and concerns.
Many changes stemming from transition of marine services contractor to Edison Chouest
By Linda Swiss
Council Project Manager
Updates to two oil spill prevention and response contingency plans are currently underway. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, or ADEC, solicited public comments regarding the changes to the spill prevention and response plans this past summer.
The plans are prepared by the operators of Alyeska’s marine terminal and oil tankers and are subject to state approval. These plans specify what operators will do to prevent and clean up oil spills. There are separate plans for spills from the Valdez Marine Terminal and from the tankers that carry oil. Both plans undergo an approval process approximately every five years. With the marine services transition in Prince William Sound, Edison Chouest Offshore’s new equipment means the details in the plans will change, triggering a public review.
In 43 pages of formal comments submitted to ADEC in August and September, the Council made a number of recommendations to either maintain the same level of preparedness or improve the proposed plans.
The Council is looking for experts who are familiar with oil spill contingency planning issues in Alaska to help the Council review spill contingency plans related to the Alyeska terminal and associated tankers.
The Council participates in public reviews related to:
- The Prince William Sound crude oil tanker oil spill contingency plans
- The Valdez Marine Terminal oil spill contingency plan
- Federal/State Preparedness Plans for Response to Oil and Hazardous Substance Discharges/Releases.
- Review and implementation of conditions of plan approvals placed on the plans by state or federal regulatory agencies
- Other continuous improvement processes, proposed amendments to the plans, and other plan-related issues when appropriate
We are hoping to identify and pre-qualify technical experts who may be called upon to offer expert advice on the Council’s issues and concerns. Interested technical experts are encouraged to submit a statement of qualifications listing their expertise for consideration.
Council conducting independent review of vessel designs
By July of 2018, Edison Chouest Offshore, or ECO, of Louisiana will be the marine services contractor for oil tankers and the terminal in Prince William Sound. Until then, Alyeska and ECO will be working with Crowley Maritime, the contractor who currently provides those services, on a smooth transition between the two contractors. These services include escort tugs, general purpose tugs, oil recovery storage barges and associated personnel, all of which are key oil spill prevention and response assets for Prince William Sound. For instance, two state-of-the-art escort tugs accompany every laden tanker that leaves Port Valdez. One tug is tethered through the confined waterway called the Valdez Narrows, and one tug stands by at Hinchinbrook Entrance until the tanker is 17 miles into the Gulf of Alaska. The primary responsibility of these escort tugs is to rescue or “save” a tanker that may experience problems and prevent oil from spilling, and initiate response efforts should these prevention measures fail.