Intern helps council develop suggestions to improve fishing vessel program

Zachary Verfaillie
Zachary Verfaillie

By ZACHARY VERFAILLIE
Council Intern

As an Emergency Management major at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, I was excited for the opportunity to work in Valdez as an intern with the council. The project I was given involved using the Fishing Vessel Availability reports from Alyeska’s Ship Escort/Response Vessel System, known as SERVS, to determine which vessels were available to respond in the unfortunate event of an oil spill in Prince William Sound.

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New guidelines for using dispersants proposed

By STEVE ROTHCHILD
Council Administrative Deputy Director

The Alaska Regional Response Team has proposed new guidelines for how chemical dispersants are approved for use in Alaska’s waters.

This team is an advisory board of resource trustee agencies that provides federal, state, and local governmental agencies with the means to participate in pollution incident response.

The announcement of these new proposed guidelines came in October, and the team held a series of public meetings to discuss the new approval procedures in November in five Southcentral Alaska communities. Council representatives attended three of the five meetings in Kodiak, Anchorage and Valdez. The other two meetings were held out of the council’s geographic area.

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Workshop helps citizens understand incident command system

Tim Robertson, council contractor, leads a discussion during the Seward workshop on how contingency plans relate to the Incident Command System. Photo by Amanda Johnson.
Tim Robertson, council contractor, leads a discussion during the Seward workshop on how contingency plans relate to the Incident Command System.

This fall, the council sponsored a series of community workshops to teach citizens how an oil spill response is organized and managed.

The workshops in Homer, Whittier and Seward examined the power and decision making structure used during an emergency, and the role of federal, state, and local responders, and the role of the communities in the system. The goal was to help communities understand how to be more effective in representing themselves during an incident and understand more about how a spill would be handled.

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Drones to be used for oil spill monitoring in Arctic

Remote controlled unmanned aircraft, commonly known as “drones,” have been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration for use in Alaska. Conoco Phillips received the approval to use the drones to monitor for oil spills and observe wildlife off the Beaufort Sea coast in the Arctic Circle.

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