What is an oil spill contingency plan?

An oil spill contingency plan is a document which contains both: Detailed information on steps to be taken before an oil spill to prevent a spill from happening Detailed instructions describing activities that will be done during and after an accident to clean up an oil spill. What is the Prince William Sound Tanker Oil Spill Contingency Plan? This contingency plan describes the measures Prince William Sound shippers take to try to prevent, or clean up, an oil spill from a tanker. Planning for prevention Preventing an oil spill is the most effective strategy to protect human health and the environment. The tanker contingency plan contains detailed descriptions of the steps and equipment shippers are using to keep oil out of the water. Examples include: A tanker escort system to help rescue a tanker in distress The U.S. Coast Guard’s vessel traffic system that helps guide tankers safely in and out of Prince William Sound Equipment that is in place to prevent oil or other chemicals from discharging into the water Alcohol and drug testing which are required for mariners Maintaining equipment to keep proper function Tankers following speed limits and staying in designated lanes The system may be restricted or closed completely during dangerous weather or when ice is present Thorough training for mariners in the safe use of all equipment. Planning for response … Continue reading

Community Corner: The importance of public comment

By Lisa Matlock Outreach Coordinator The council regularly provides public comment on behalf of our 18 member entities on matters that support our mission of safe oil transportation in Prince William Sound. We are proud of our role as advocates on many technical topics of importance to our local citizenry. … Continue reading

UPDATED JULY 1: Budget cuts threaten spill response equipment in remote Alaska communities

Update: GOOD NEWS! We received word from Lt Nunez with Alaska’s District 17 of the Coast Guard that the Coast Guard headquarters has approved funds to keep the remote spill response equipment caches in Alaska through their next fiscal year (October 1, 2015 – September 30, 2016). Your letters of support helped! He specifically mentioned that the public’s letters of support for the caches really helped convince headquarters that Alaska has different needs than the rest of the country. Original post: In an effort to reduce spending, the U.S. Coast Guard is considering decommissioning caches of oil spill response equipment stationed around Alaska. The caches will be funded through the next fiscal year, however, long-term funding is not secure. The Coast Guard has invited the public to share their thoughts. … Continue reading

The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking public comment on the proposed decommissioning of their oil spill response equipment caches located throughout Alaska

UPDATE: Caches have been funded through September 2016. Please visit Budget cuts threaten spill response equipment in remote Alaska communities for more information. Original post: Oil spill cleanup response equipment is pre-positioned in remote areas to help local communities mount an early response to pollution incidents in order to minimize environmental damage.  The justification for their removal is mostly due to the cost of maintaining this equipment because of the remote location of many of the sites.  Another justification is that many of the caches are co-located with other oil spill response equipment owned by private oil spill response organizations or the State of Alaska.  More information on the specific locations of the USCG Alaska-based equipment caches, including a complete inventory of equipment at each location, can be found at: D17 District Response Advisory Team (DRAT) The council strongly supports retaining the USCG equipment caches in our region, including Chenega Bay, Cordova, Valdez, Port Graham, Seward, Kodiak, Homer and Kenai.  Equipment caches in locations outside our region are equally important for the same reasons, and span from the Pribilof Islands to Unalaska all the way down to Ketchikan (see U.S. Coast Guard map with specific locations).  … Continue reading