Council meeting in Valdez

The council’s board of directors met in Valdez on May 1 and 2, 2014.

On the agenda:

The council conducted an election of officers, orientation for new volunteers, and seated volunteers on the established committees.

Topics on the agenda included:

• Adoption of the council budget for the year beginning July 1.
• Approval of a resolution to promote the use of best available technology in tugboats escorting laden oil tankers.
• A presentation on analysis of fishing vessel types and numbers.
• An update from the citizens’ council on the renewal process for oil spill prevention and response plans (known as contingency plans) for the Valdez Marine Terminal.
• A presentation by the US Coast Guard on ice and adverse weather.

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Council is recertified by Coast Guard

The Coast Guard has recertified the citizens’ council as meeting its responsibilities under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. In a March 15 letter to the council, Rear Admiral, T.P. Ostebo, commander of the Cost Guard’s District 17 in Juneau, notified the council of recertification. The 1990 Act requires the council to be recertified annually as the official citizens’ advisory group to the oil industry in Prince William Sound. Guidelines established in 2002 streamlined the recertification process for two out of three years, with every third year requiring stricter procedures.  That process- known as comprehensive recertification – was used this year. The new recertification expires February 28, 2015.  At that time, the council is scheduled to undergo the streamlined version of recertification.

The council received over 70 letters of support from organizations, agencies, businesses, Native corporations, and members of the public during the recertification process.  

25th Anniversary Commemoration – Events

A fishing vessel practices using oil spill boom and skimmers during fishing vessel training last year. The fishermen bring valuable knowledge about local waters during a spill response. Photo by Jeremy Robida.
One of the most important changes in Prince William Sound is the inclusion of local fishing vessels in oil spill planning and response. The fishermen bring valuable knowledge about local waters during a spill response. Participants in this program are trained annually to transport response equipment, and deploy and tend boom. Find out more about this and many other changes at one of the events listed.

Several public presentations were held in March 2014 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The presentations focused on the improvements in oil spill prevention and response in Prince William Sound since 1989.

Dates and locations:

  • Valdez:  March 4th at the Valdez Museum
  • Seward:  March 6 at the SeaLife Center
  • Cordova:  March 11 at the U.S. Forest Service in Cordova
  • Homer: March 13 at the Pratt Museum
  • Kodiak: March 18 at the library
  • Glenallen: March 21 at the Wrangell Institute for Science and Environment
  • Anchorage: March 24th at the Loussac Library

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Public comments on guidelines for use of dispersants in Alaska

Changes to how dispersants are authorized for use during an oil spill are being proposed by the Alaska Regional Response Team (ARRT). The ARRT is a combination of federal, state and local agencies that share responsibilities for managing oil and chemical spill responses in Alaska.

The ARRT asked for members of the public and stakeholder groups to review the draft Oil Dispersant Authorization Plan, and is providing an opportunity for comment.

Update: The ARRT’s deadline for written comments was February 14, 2014.

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