Only mechanical recovery for VMT plan
Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. has filed a revised version of the oil spill prevention and contingency plan for the Valdez Marine Terminal with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation for state approval. The revisions include the removal of spill response tactics that include the use of oil dispersants and the in-situ burning of oil. Presumably the plan indicates that any foreseeable spill can be dealt with using mechanical recovery techniques involving the use of technologies such as booms and skimmers.
The terminal is used to load oil from the trans-Alaska pipeline into tankers for shipment to the U.S. West Coast and is located on the shore of Port Valdez, a fiord-like water body that connects to Prince William Sound through the Valdez Narrows. There is a separate and distinct spill contingency plan for tankers transiting between the terminal and the Gulf of Alaska across Prince William Sound.
Michelle Egan, Alyeska corporate communications director, has told Petroleum News that Alyeska is committed to the mechanical clean up of any spills, and that this is a regulatory requirement. Alyeska does retain the capability to use non-mechanical techniques such as dispersant use or in-situ burning - the use of these techniques would require regulatory approval, Egan said.
Brook Taylor, director of external communications for Prince William Sound Regional Citizensí Advisory Council, commented that the non-mechanical techniques have been removed from the plan because they cannot be used in Port of Valdez.
- ALAN BAILEY