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Long Term Environmental Monitoring Program 2021 Technical Supplement

This document is the technical supplement for the Long Term Environmental Monitoring Program 2021 Summary Report.

 
View: Long Term Environmental Monitoring Program 2021 Technical Supplement
Author: Owl Ridge Natural Resource Consultants, Morgan L. Bender
Date: September 30, 2022
File size: 5.8 MB

Long Term Environmental Monitoring Program 2021 Summary Report

The Long-Term Environmental Monitoring Program (LTEMP), managed by the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council, is in its 28th year of monitoring hydrocarbons in the wake of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Through LTEMP, we are able to determine the source of hydrocarbons and the potential adverse effects on the ecosystem from Alyeska Pipeline Service Company’s Valdez Marine Terminal and tanker activity. These data have been insightful in understanding the influence of terminal and non-terminal sources of hydrocarbons and environmental factors on hydrocarbon dynamics across Prince William Sound and the Gulf of Alaska.

The following study presents the 2021 results from the LTEMP in Port Valdez and aims to determine:

  • The extent, if any, that the terminal and associated tankers’ hydrocarbon fingerprint is present in 2021 samples.

  • The potential environmental and toxicological risk posed by the measured hydrocarbon contribution from the terminal and tankers.

  • Other factors (e.g., environmental or anthropogenic) that may be influencing hydrocarbon presence and composition in 2021 samples and the toxicological relevance of these results.

  • How the 2021 data compare to historical LTEMP trends and whether new analysis supports previous conclusions.

  • Recommendations for future monitoring of petroleum hydrocarbons at the terminal and in Prince William Sound.


Prepared by: Morgan L. Bender
Contributors: James R. Payne and William B. Driskell
View: Long Term Environmental Monitoring Program 2021 Summary Report
Author: Owl Ridge Natural Resource Consultants, Morgan L. Bender
Date: May 30, 2022
File size: 2.1 MB

PWSRCAC Sept 2022 Board Meeting Press Release


View: PWSRCAC Sept 2022 Board Meeting Press Release
Date: September 15, 2022
File size: 0.5 MB

Summer 2022 Observer


View: Summer 2022 Observer
Date: July 12, 2022
File size: 2.5 MB

Full Report: Mussel Chemistry and Transcriptomic Response after a Minor Alaskan Oil Spill

For this report, researchers analyzed mussels for oil concentrations and genetic response to the April 2020 spill, both near and far away from the spill site. When a mussel is exposed to a chemical irritant such as crude oil, certain genes respond, triggering mRNA to carry a message to the mussel’s cells. That message tells the cells how to deal with the irritant. Every irritant triggers a different pattern of genes. The scientists looked for the genetic and chemical response patterns unique to crude oil. Their analysis showed that both oil concentrations and gene response spiked then decreased with time, however the genetic response peaked at a later time.

This document is the full report for the previously posted executive summary report.

 
View: Full Report: Mussel Chemistry and Transcriptomic Response after a Minor Alaskan Oil Spill
Author: Lizabeth Bowen, William B. Driskell, James R. Payne, Austin Love, Eric Litman, Brenda Ballachey
Date: September 22, 2021
File size: 7.7 MB

Utilizing Numerical Simulation to Estimate the Volume of Oil Leaked Through a Damaged Secondary Containment Liner

Executive Summary

Numerical analysis was used to simulate a catastrophic failure of the largest crude oil tank, Tank 11, in the Valdez Marine Terminal’s (VMT) East Tank Farm (ETF). The goal of this analysis was to quantify the volume of oil that would escape Tank 11’s secondary containment system in such a worst-case scenario. Field testing has revealed that a component of the ETF’s secondary containment systems, known as the catalytically blown asphalt (CBA) liner, likely has unrepaired holes in it that could allow oil to reach groundwater in the event of a spill, but the secondary containment systems are required to protect groundwater from oil spill contamination. Alyeska’s spill response activities (e.g. times and recovery/processing rates) were modelled based on their stated capacities.  To simulate how much oil could leak through a damaged CBA liner, this analysis considered the following key factors, among others: full storage volume of Tank 11, area of Tank 11’s secondary containment system, hydraulic conductivity or permeability of the earthen fill above the buried CBA liner, depth of that earthen fill, rate which spilled oil could be drained from the secondary containment area, time estimate for spill cleanup, and an estimate of the percentage of CBA liner damage (i.e., holes). The results of the simulation indicate that the earthen fill above the CBA liner will be fully saturated with oil in under 8 minutes. Assuming a value of 0.1% liner damage, the standing oil will be drained in approximately 2.8 days; however, 38,000 barrels of oil will have leaked from secondary containment during this time period. Over the entire 30-day clean-up window, the simulation estimates that approximately 125,000 barrels of oil will be discharged through damage in the CBA liner.
View: Utilizing Numerical Simulation to Estimate the Volume of Oil Leaked Through a Damaged Secondary Containment Liner
Author: Matt Cullin, Austin Love, and Tom Kuckertz
Date: February 7, 2022
File size: 2.1 MB

2020 Form 990

The Council's income tax returns for 2020.
View: 2020 Form 990
Date: April 29, 2021
File size: 3.3 MB

2021 Form 990

The Council's income tax returns for 2021.
View: 2021 Form 990
Date: May 4, 2022
File size: 3.4 MB

Geographic Response Planning for the Copper River Delta and Flats

This report by Sierra Fletcher, Breck Tostevin, and Tim Robertson of Nuka Research documents the history of the development of geographic response strategies (GRS) for the Copper River Delta and Flats (CRD&F) area east of Prince William Sound. This area hosts numerous species, cultural sites, and important fisheries. It is also a challenging area for spill responders. Geographic features include high energy beaches, shallow tidal waters, changing channels, barrier islands, and braided river drainages.

A response plan developed specifically for this area was adopted into the government response plan in 1999, as had been agreed in a legal settlement among the fisheries organizations, oil shippers, and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC). However, the CRD&F Plan was left out of later versions of government plan and is no longer included in any response plans accessible as of the release of this report.

Along with the history of the GRS’ development, the researchers reviewed the previous GRS and provide advice on what information is still relevant today.
View: Geographic Response Planning for the Copper River Delta and Flats
Author: Sierra Fletcher, Breck Tostevin, and Tim Robertson of Nuka Research
Date: March 1, 2022
File size: 1.1 MB

May 2022 Board Officers Press Release


View: May 2022 Board Officers Press Release
Date: May 6, 2022
File size: 0.5 MB

PWSRCAC Press Release - Seward Fishing Vessel Training Tour


View: PWSRCAC Press Release - Seward Fishing Vessel Training Tour
Author: Brooke Taylor
Date: April 14, 2022
File size: 0.5 MB

Spring 2022 Observer


View: Spring 2022 Observer
Author: PWSRCAC
Date: March 1, 2022
File size: 1.4 MB

Executive Summary: Mussel Oiling and Genetic Response to the April 2020 Valdez Marine Terminal Spill

For this report, researchers analyzed mussels for oil concentrations and genetic response to the April 2020 spill, both near and far away from the spill site. When a mussel is exposed to a chemical irritant such as crude oil, certain genes respond, triggering mRNA to carry a message to the mussel’s cells. That message tells the cells how to deal with the irritant. Every irritant triggers a different pattern of genes. The scientists looked for the genetic and chemical response patterns unique to crude oil. Their analysis showed that both oil concentrations and gene response spiked then decreased with time, however the genetic response peaked at a later time.

This document is the executive summary for the full report.
View: Executive Summary: Mussel Oiling and Genetic Response to the April 2020 Valdez Marine Terminal Spill
Author: Lizabeth Bowen, William B. Driskell, James R. Payne, Austin Love, Eric Litman, Brenda Ballachey
Date: August 20, 2021
File size: 0.5 MB

2021 Prince William Sound Forage Fish Observations

This report by Dr. Scott Pegau of the Prince William Sound Science Center summarizes the results of the surveys for forage fish he conducted in Prince William Sound last summer. “Forage fish” are species that are preyed on by larger predators, and include Pacific herring, Pacific sand lance, capelin, and candlefish.

Dr. Pegau conducted the survey of the entire coastline of Prince William Sound via airplane in 2019 and 2020. Surveying from the air allows for identifying areas in water too shallow for a vessel. The primary objectives are to map and count schools of these fish in Prince William Sound to help protect these important species during a spill response. This work is expected to continue until 2022.
View: 2021 Prince William Sound Forage Fish Observations
Author: Scott Pegau
Date: September 21, 2021
File size: 3.3 MB

2021 Annual Drill Monitoring Report

This yearly report summarizes the drills and exercises that were attended, observed, and evaluated by Council staff and contractors in 2021. Highlights for 2021 include:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic again restricted observation of drills and exercises.

  • A towing was exercise conducted with a foreign-flagged tanker, which the Council has been requesting for years.

  • For the first time in Prince William Sound, a large-scale tabletop exercise was held almost entirely online.


These reports have great value in tracking the history of spill preparedness and response by Alyeska/SERVS and the associated shippers. They are instrumental in identifying operational issues and tracking the lessons learned during these events. These reports have proven to be valuable tools in addressing recurring problems, improving the prevention and response system, assisting contingency plan workgroups, and in planning large unannounced drills.
View: 2021 Annual Drill Monitoring Report
Author: Roy Robertson, PWSRCAC
Date: January 28, 2022
File size: 0.2 MB

A Review of the Appeal to 2020 Updates to 40 CFR 63, Subpart EEEE by Alyeska Pipeline Service Company

On October 7, 2020, Alyeska appealed certain parts of the EPA’s update to the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Organic Liquids Distribution (NESHAP-OLD). Alyeska claimed that the updated rule would require substantial changes at the terminal that will not result in any significant improvement in emissions.  

The Council hired experts at John Beath Environmental to conduct an independent review of Alyeska’s appeal. Their results supported Alyeska’s argument. The design of the existing vapor recovery system already controls vapors better than the alternatives required by the EPA’s rule.  
View: A Review of the Appeal to 2020 Updates to 40 CFR 63, Subpart EEEE by Alyeska Pipeline Service Company
Author: John Beath Environmental, LLC
Date: January 13, 2022
File size: 11.3 MB

Comments on proposed regulatory revisions to 18 AAC 75, Article 4

Letter to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation with the Council's comments attached.
View: Comments on proposed regulatory revisions to 18 AAC 75, Article 4
Author: PWSRCAC
Date: January 28, 2022
File size: 1.6 MB

Concerns With ADEC Proposed Changes For Oil Spill Prevention And Response Regulations

Summary of the Council's concerns about ADEC's proposed changes to the oil spill regulations.
View: Concerns With ADEC Proposed Changes For Oil Spill Prevention And Response Regulations
Author: PWSRCAC
Date: January 11, 2022
File size: 0.1 MB

PWS Tanker Oil Spill Prevention & Contingency Plan, Compendium Of Event Summaries 1995-2020

This compendium documents the history of the oil spill prevention and response plan for the tankers that carry crude oil through Prince William Sound. The compendium includes summaries of all changes, amendments, and updates to the plan, beginning with the first major changes post-Exxon Valdez oil spill, through amendments made in 2020.

This compendium is an appendices for the report: PWS Tanker Oil Spill Prevention & Contingency Plan, Summary 1995-2020 The reader may find the associated graphic timeline helpful when navigating this document: PWS Tanker plan history
View: PWS Tanker Oil Spill Prevention & Contingency Plan, Compendium Of Event Summaries 1995-2020
Author: Nuka Research and Planning Group
Date: September 16, 2021
File size: 0.9 MB

PWS Tanker Oil Spill Prevention & Contingency Plan, Summary 1995-2020

This report documents the history of the oil spill prevention and response plan for the tankers that carry crude oil through Prince William Sound from 1995-2020. Included in the report:

- Background history
- A description of the plan and associated documents
- A description of how and why changes are made to the plan
- A summary of key topics over the years
- Appendices that document Conditions of Approval and Findings documents


Associated with this report are two documents, a summary of each of the events that were researched for this report (Compendium Of Event Summaries 1995-2020) and a graphic timeline to help visualize important events (Prince William Sound Tanker Plan History).

The main summary report can be viewed below:
View: PWS Tanker Oil Spill Prevention & Contingency Plan, Summary 1995-2020
Author: Nuka Research and Planning Group
Date: September 16, 2021
File size: 1.3 MB

Timeline of major events and changes to the PWS Tanker Oil Spill Prevention & Contingency Plan

This timeline shows the major events that affected the oil spill contingency plan for the tankers that ship crude oil through Prince William Sound.

This timeline is an appendices for the report PWS Tanker Oil Spill Prevention & Contingency Plan, Summary 1995-2020. This timeline is also helpful for finding information in the associated compendium: PWS Tanker Oil Spill Prevention & Contingency Plan, Compendium Of Event Summaries 1995-2020
View: Timeline of major events and changes to the PWS Tanker Oil Spill Prevention & Contingency Plan
Author: Nuka Research and Planning Group
Date: September 16, 2021
File size: 0.8 MB

Remote Control Of Valdez Marine Terminal - 2014

This report describes the history and development of the project and discusses the policies, practices, and procedures Alyeska made available for review relating to the remote control of the VMT. It presents a synopsis of the applicable regulations and recognized industry standards and best practices related to control system operation and management.

PLEASE NOTE: This report is not available online. Please contact staff for more information.

 
View: Remote Control Of Valdez Marine Terminal - 2014
Author: Hisey and Associates, LLC
Date: February 4, 2014
File size: 30 KB

Winter 2021 Observer


View: Winter 2021 Observer
Author: PWSRCAC
Date: November 19, 2021
File size: 0.9 MB

Year in Review: 2020-2021

This report covers the Council's activities from July 2020 to June 2021.
View: Year in Review: 2020-2021
Author: PWSRCAC
Date: November 19, 2021
File size: 2.1 MB

Vessel Traffic Services, Use of Automatic Identification System and Radar

This report discusses the capabilities, limitations, and synergies of radar and Automatic Identification System (AIS) information in Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) operations based on published literature and on relevant documentation from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA). Specific context of the Prince William Sound (PWS) VTS issues that affect local marine users is presented through summaries of PWS stakeholder consultations.
View: Vessel Traffic Services, Use of Automatic Identification System and Radar
Author: C-Core
Date: July 1, 2021
File size: 2.1 MB

2021 Financial Statement


View: 2021 Financial Statement
Author: BDO USA, LLP
Date: October 28, 2021
File size: 0.2 MB

PWSRCAC Emergency Towline Deployment Practical Trial Summary Report

This report is on the results of field trials to evaluate the effectiveness of messenger line throwing devices.
Passing a messenger line is the first step in setting up a tow line between a tug and a tanker in distress. The lighter weight messenger line helps responders connect the heavy tow lines. This can be a difficult and dangerous task. Last year the Council studied these devices. One of the recommendations from that study was to conduct a trial to evaluate the devices for ease of use, effectiveness, reliability, and safety. Results will be used to develop a set of recommended practices that will be shared with industry.
View: PWSRCAC Emergency Towline Deployment Practical Trial Summary Report
Author: Glosten
Date: September 27, 2021
File size: 1.7 MB

Marine Winter Bird Surveys In Prince William Sound

This report is on the first year of a proposed three-year project to document marine species in Prince William Sound during the winter months. The survey is concentrating on under-surveyed areas near the tanker escort zone.
The Council partnered with the Prince William Sound Science Center who conducted this survey. They spotted 21 bird species and 6 marine mammal species. This year’s data showed that birds do congregate in Prince William Sound in winter and seem to prefer areas near the shore. The surveys to be conducted over the next two years of the project are necessary to confirm these conclusions.
This information helps us understand the potential environmental impacts of the terminal and tankers on marine bird species by identifying their overwintering habitat. The data will help prioritize these habitats to be protected in the event of an oil spill.
View: Marine Winter Bird Surveys In Prince William Sound
Author: A. Schaefer and M.A. Bishop, Prince William Sound Science Center
Date: September 27, 2021
File size: 9.0 MB

Port Valdez Weather Buoy Data Analysis

The Council sponsors two weather buoys in Prince William Sound. These two buoys, one near the Valdez Marine Terminal and the other near a sensitive bird habitat called the Valdez Duck Flats, have been collecting data for two years. While it is still too early to confirm weather patterns, there is enough data available to start to analyze trends. These buoys are expected to collect weather data for at least five years. Dr. Rob Campbell analyzed the data for the Council and submitted this report.
View: Port Valdez Weather Buoy Data Analysis
Author: Robert W. Campbell, Ph.D.
Date: September 27, 2021
File size: 2.1 MB

A Summary Of Dispersants Research 2017-2021

This is an update report on dispersants and dispersant research. Detailed reviews were carried out for Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council (PWSRCAC) in 2002, 2008, 2014, and 2017. This summary review briefly covers published literature since the last review in 2017. The report identifies recent advances in all topics of dispersion and focuses on dispersant effectiveness, toxicity, and biodegradation. Emphasis in this report is placed on aspects that relate to Alaska and Prince William Sound specifically. The report does not cover all aspects of dispersant knowledge but rather focuses on newly published developments.
View: A Summary Of Dispersants Research 2017-2021
Author: Merv Fingas
Date: September 27, 2021
File size: 0.2 MB
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