New tool to support Regional Stakeholder Committee

Do you know if you or your community is prepared to advocate for themselves in the case of an oil spill? The Council recently developed resources to support affected stakeholders during such an event.

The new toolkit was designed to support citizens who would participate in a process known as a Regional Stakeholder Committee. However, some of the tools would be useful for anyone affected by an oil spill.

What’s in the toolkit?

The resources include helpful content such as:

  • A template to help capture important details during a briefing by response leaders
  • A list of potential stakeholder concerns
  • Ideas for available resources that may help support the response

The kit also includes some basic information about the spill response system in Alaska and how an oil spill response is organized.

Available on our website: Regional Stakeholders Committee Resources

State of Alaska’s oil spill prevention and response funding unsustainable

Council voices support for full funding

Photo of Representatives from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and SERVS observing an oil spill exercise in Prince William Sound.
Representatives from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and SERVS observe an oil spill exercise in Prince William Sound.

The State of Alaska’s Oil and Hazardous Substances Release Prevention and Response Fund is in trouble. Funding for the prevention of spills is projected to be in a deficit by 2025.

Reduced pipeline flow contributes to shortfall

The amount of money going into the accounts ebbs and flows according to how many barrels flow through the pipeline. The amount of oil, which peaked in 1988 at 2.1 million barrels a day, has slowed considerably over the years and is now averaging just over 500,000 barrels a day. The revenues from the .95 cent surcharge on refined fuels were also originally overestimated. These factors, combined with lack of adjustment for inflation, have all resulted in the shortfall.

Response account used for contaminations other than oil and gas

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Oil spill prevention and response services transition to new contractor

Link to more photos of new equipment
More photos of new equipment.

Prince William Sound was a hive of activity this summer. On July 1, Alyeska’s marine services contractor transitioned from Crowley Maritime Corporation to Edison Chouest Offshore.

This transition means all of the escort tugs and much of the spill prevention and response equipment in Prince William Sound are brand new, or new to the Sound.

Demonstrations of the new equipment

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation required that each vessel and crew member demonstrate their capabilities before beginning service. Each tug, as well as each tug’s captain, had to perform a set of maneuvers which differed according to the vessel and its purpose.

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Council questions proposed changes to ADEC response exercise program

By Susan Sommer

Drills and exercises are a vital part of making sure that companies transporting oil through Prince William Sound are meeting state laws and are capable of performing an effective spill response.

In early February, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s Division of Spill Prevention and Response, known as SPAR, published a draft white paper titled “Response Exercise Program Improvements.” Although the document pertains to the entire state, the council contends that some of the proposed changes might inadvertently reduce vigilance and preparation among plan holders and responders in Prince William Sound.

The council, in collaboration with the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council, provided feedback during the public review stage and encouraged the agency to consider the process used in Prince William Sound as a model for the rest of the state. It also noted that some aspects of the draft document need further study to determine long-range implications.

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