Industry Contingency Plans
One responsibility of the Preparedness and Response Section is the regulatory oversight of all regulated facilities and vessels across the state. This oversight includes evaluation of oil discharge prevention and contingency plans for compliance with oil discharge prevention and response preparedness requirements, inspection of all facilities, and announced and unannounced oil discharge exercises. These facilities and vessels comprise a wide variety of complex operations. Plan holders can be long-time operators in Alaska to those who are brand new to the state.
The following operations need an approved oil discharge prevention and contingency plan:
- Terminals and distributors of crude and refined oil products
- Marine tankers and barges that transport crude and refined oil products
- Oil pipelines
- Onshore and offshore oil exploration and production facilities
- Nontank vessels
- Railroad tank cars
Prevention, Preparedness, and Response staff conduct announced and unannounced inspections of facilities and equipment. These inspections are done to ensure that the plan holder is in compliance with the contingency plan. Response equipment inspections are conducted to ensure that the equipment relied on in the contingency plan is response ready and capable of being used as intended in a response.
Inspections are done as often as deemed necessary to ensure compliance with oil spill regulations and contingency plans.
Following an inspection, if issues are identified, the staff will work with the plan holder to resolve them. Serious problems could result in a Notice of Violation or other corrective action(s) under 18 AAC 75.490. For more information on inspections, please see 18 AAC 75.480.
About Exercises (drills)
Prevention, Preparedness, and Response staff may conduct announced or unannounced discharge exercises with any plan holder twice a year to verify the plan holder's ability to carry out the spill prevention and response strategies described in the contingency plan. If problems are identified, the department staff may choose to conduct additional discharge exercises. Any or all aspects of a contingency plan may be verified during a discharge exercise.
Discharge exercises may range from focused table-top exercises to large-scale equipment deployments. Following a discharge exercise, if issues are identified, department staff will work with the plan holder to resolve them. Discharge exercises are not evaluated on a pass/fail basis. For more information on drills, please see 18 AAC 75.485.