Important public comment period now open

Tanker in Prince William SoundThe Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) is proposing changes to regulations that protect Prince William Sound. The comment period began on November 1, 2021 and will end January 31, 2022.

Public input on these changes will be critical. The Council is reviewing the changes and will be sharing information on this public comment period and future changes. Please contact staff member Linda Swiss to be added to the email list.

More information: Public input needed to safeguard Prince William Sound

Potential regulation changes to undergo extended public comment period

Tanker at berth.

Before the state’s oil spill regulations are modified, any proposed changes will undergo an extended public comment period, according to Jason Brune, commissioner for the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

Beginning last fall, the department asked the public for input on Alaska’s statutes and regulations covering oil spill prevention and response.

Brune joined the Council during a September meeting of the Board of Directors to discuss potential changes from these comments. The Council was encouraged to hear a promise from the commissioner that any proposed changes will be given more than the required 30-day public comment period.

Read more

Council comments on State’s public scoping

The Exxon Valdez oil spill taught many lessons about oil spill prevention and preparedness, such as ensuring responders are better trained ahead of time to use cleanup equipment. The strong rules that resulted from that spill mean better preparedness today.

Yesterday the Council submitted comments on the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s public scoping on the state’s oil spill contingency plans for preventing and cleaning up an oil spill.

“PWSRCAC does not think the regulations are necessarily flawed as they are written. The regulations have proven to be protective of Alaska’s people and environment for decades, and it is critical that the protections written into them not be weakened in any way. It is equally important to maintain transparency, predictability, and specificity required to verify operational needs, which is currently in the  regulations.”

Read the Council’s comments in full:

Read more

News release: Public input needed to safeguard state protections

Photo of Robert Archibald
Robert Archibald is the president of the board of directors for the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council and has lived in Homer since 1984. Archibald spent 46 years as a mariner, including service in the U.S. Coast Guard and 32 years as chief engineer on Crowley Marine Service vessels in various locations, 22 of which were in Valdez, before retiring in 2014.

By Robert Archibald 
Board President

Also published in the Anchorage Daily News

In 1971, the Alaska Legislature formed the Department of Environmental Conservation to take the lead on Alaska’s environmental protections. DEC’s mission, set by the legislation which formed it, is: conserving, improving, and protecting Alaska’s natural resources and environment to enhance the health, safety, economic, and social well-being of Alaskans.

Now, here we are, 30 years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the creation of regional citizens advisory councils in Alaska, and coming up on 30 years since the passage of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. The world-class oil spill prevention and response system in Prince William Sound is a direct result of post-Exxon Valdez spill laws and regulations designed to protect Alaska. These strong statutes and regulations are one of the main reasons why Prince William Sound has not had a major oil spill since.

Currently, DEC is undertaking a “scoping process,” asking for comments from industry and the public on oil spill prevention and response regulations and statutes, which the DEC Commissioner has stated have become “onerous and burdensome” to business. The deadline to comment, March 16, 2020, is quickly approaching.

(Update: November 2021)

Read more

Skip to content