May 2017 board meeting held in Valdez

Valdez, AlaskaThe Council’s board of directors held a meeting in Valdez on Thursday and Friday, May 4-5, 2017.

Topics on the agenda included:

  • Presentations regarding the change in Alyeska Pipeline Service Company’s marine services contract provider from Crowley Marine Services to Edison Chouest Offshore – set to take place July 1, 2018 – by Alyeska, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the U.S. Coast Guard and the council. These services include key oil spill prevention and response assets such as escort tugs, oil recovery barges and associated personnel for service in Prince William Sound.

  • Consideration of a board resolution expressing support for reauthorization of the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund excise tax, increased use of the fund for spill prevention measures and establishment of a fund balance ceiling and floor which automatically suspends and reinstates the excise tax to improve the long term sustainability of the fund. The fund is currently due to sunset at the end of 2017.
  • Approval of a council-commissioned report illustrating potential improvements for the oil recovery and storage systems identified in the Prince William Sound Tanker Oil Discharge Prevention and Contingency Plan.
  • A summary of the Oil Spill Surrogates Project efforts to find a safe stand-in for oil, such as wood chips, that may be used to help responders practice during oil spill response drills.
  • Approval of a council-commissioned report that studied established potential places of refuge, or pre-identified sites that may aid decision-makers in responding to vessels in distress. These sites provide a sheltered location where vessels could be anchored and repaired, and/or where oil could be safely offloaded to another vessel to minimize spilled oil. Through this study, subject matter experts were interviewed and 24 ship bridge simulations of three sites were run under the operation of professional mariners using facilities at AVTEC, Alaska’s Institute of Technology maritime training center.
  • Approval of two council-commissioned reports that analyze international, federal and state ballast water management policies for crude oil tankers, and an update on requirements for installation of ship-board systems designed to prevent the transport of non-native aquatic species to Prince William Sound.

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

Meeting materials:

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