By Heidi Zemach for SCN
Seward residents will have the opportunity to play a part in an oil spill prevention and cleanup planning process, and to meet the citizens from Alaska’s coastal communities who were also impacted by the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, and who are still working to see that it doesn’t happen again.
The Prince William Sound Regional Citizens Advisory Council holds its annual Board of Directors Meeting & annual planning process meeting in Seward September 20-21, on the third floor of the AVTEC Culinary Institute at Third Avenue and Monroe.
John French, the City of Seward representative to PWCRCAC encouraged city leaders to welcome the gathering. He’d also like to see interested residents, ( fishermen, and maritime and marine experts) attend, and invites them to speak during the citizen’s comment periods, or just learn what they can about the issues being discussed that could impact our waters and our livelihoods.
The council, which was set up in 1990 following the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, only meets in Seward every seven years. So this is Seward’s chance to express the importance of Seward in oil spill response planning, and, should the need arise, actual incident response, French said. With the new harbor development at Seward Marine Industrial Center, new developments in the shipping industry that may affect Seward, and several related institutes in our midst, including the the Alaska SeaLife Center, maritime training center at AVTEC, and UAF Marine Center, many here in Seward already are, or may one day be involved in some way in spill prevention and cleanup.
The name Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council (PWSRCAC) can be somewhat misleading, because its area of responsibility covers the whole region adversely impacted by the Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS), French said. Yet the only major oil spill incident in Prince William Sound (EVOS) resulted in oil being carried across the southern Kenai Peninsula coast, including Resurrection Bay, and down past Kodiak. Currently Alaska North Slope crude oil is carried by Tesoro tankers crossing in front of Resurrection Bay en-route from the Valdez terminal to Tesoro’s refinery at Nikiski, and sometimes residuals back to the Valdez terminal.
PWSRCAC was mandated under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to enhance citizen input to help assure the environmentally safe transport of crude oil through the Valdez marine terminal.
There is a public comment period starting at 8:35 a.m. on Thursday 20 September. Comments will be limited to five minutes.
Also, there is a community reception at the Alaska SeaLife Center starting at 5:30 also on Thursday 20 September.
Click here for the meeting agenda
The council’s annual planning process and five-year plan revision started in earnest this month. A public request for project ideas and concepts has been issued to regulatory agencies, industry members, and other Stakeholders. See the council website to find This letter