In January 2023, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation updated the regulations governing the state’s oil spill prevention and response contingency plans. The new plans went into effect on February 5, 2023.
Some improvements cleared up confusing and repetitive language. For example, two similar sections, contingency plan content requirements and approval criteria, were combined into a new section.
Other changes concerned the Council, including:
Removal of a requirement that the regional citizens’ advisory councils be notified when plans and amendments are available for review.
Removal of a conference to review new technologies in oil spill prevention and response.
Changes to the schedule and number of operations-based exercises. The new regulations require “at least one” every five years and limit additional exercises to no more than one per year. Previously, the regulations noted “not more than two exercises per year.”
Removal of a requirement for tankers to carry a specific arrangement of towing equipment designed for adverse weather conditions like those often found in Prince William Sound.
Links to the new regulations, as well as the Council’s comments from the last round of public comment, is available on our website: Regulatory Reform