Table of Contents
|Oil Spill Response Plans|
|The Alaska Incident Management System (AIMS)|
|Drills and Exercises|
|Response Contractor Registration|
|Spill Response Depots and Corps|
The second goal of the Division of Spill Prevention and Response's (SPAR) mission is preparedness - making industry and government’s ability to prepare and respond to spills “better”.
The 156-foot Wilderness Adventurer, which ran aground in Glacier Bay National Park in June 1999, spilled about 50 of its 4,300 gallons of fuel before being successfully refloated four days after the grounding.
The core elements of preparedness include:
- government and industry oil spill response plans;
- Alaska Incident Management System for Oil and Hazardous Substance Response;
- spill drills and training exercises;
- response contractor registration;
- spill response depots and corps; and
- financial preparedness.
The ability to respond quickly and effectively to spills requires continuous self-improvement and close coordination with stakeholders. The objectives are to reduce spill impacts to public health and the environment, reduce costs for spill response, and increase recovery of spilled product.
Oil Spill Response Plans
SPAR oversees government response planning through the joint state/federal Unified Plan and its ten Alaska subarea plans for government response. These plans provide the framework for coordinated agency response to oil and hazardous substance spills statewide. Response plans also exist at the local level. SPAR reviews and approves industry oil discharge prevention and contingency plans for oil terminals, pipelines, tank vessels and barges, nontank vessels, railroads, refineries, and exploration and production facilities. These plans describe the equipment, resources, and strategies required to quickly respond in the event of a spill.
The Alaska Incident Management System
A tank truck carrying 13,000 gallons of jet fuel rolled over and ignited on the Richardson Highway in August 2001.
In partnership with industry and other government agencies, SPAR has developed the Alaska Incident Management System (AIMS), a standardized Incident Command System for spill response. Utilizing a Unified Command, common incident objectives are quickly defined and the resources immediately brought to bear to get the job done. By tailoring the ICS to Alaska’s unique circumstances, all parties effectively work toward the same common objectives. Dedicated emergency operations centers have been established in critical operating areas.
Drills and Exercises
Drills and exercises test the viability of oil spill response plans and the ability of operators to carry them out. Announced and unannounced drills are conducted, ranging in size and complexity. Periodic exercises also test the ability of government agencies to carry out their duties and obligations under the Unified Plan. As part of its technical assistance activities, SPAR conducts community-based exercises to test and improve the ability of local responders to deal with oil and chemical releases.
Response Contractor Registration
A response contractor must be registered by the state in order to offer response services. Contractors whose resources are listed in oil spill response plans for this purpose must meet the state’s registration requirements. Five outstanding spill response cooperatives have grown and matured since new oil spill response requirements came into effect in the early 1990’s. Today these cooperatives, along with industry-owned resources, form the backbone of Alaska’s response capability.
Spill Response Depots and Corps
The Division ensures response preparedness through the development of planning tools such as the Unified Plan, geographic response strategies, and the Alaska Incident Management System Guide.
Because of Alaska’s size and the remoteness of many of its communities, local residents play an important role in responding to spills and minimizing their impacts. SPAR has signed 41 community response agreements that provide a mechanism to integrate local resources into a single state response and reimburse local governments for costs incurred in responding to spills. Pre-positioned response equipment caches provide a local source of equipment tailored to the types of spills likely to be encountered. Agreements with the Hazardous Materials Response Teams in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Valdez and Kodiak allow them to respond to a hazmat incident anywhere in the state at the direction of the State On-Scene Coordinator.
Demonstration of financial responsibility – the ability to pay for a spill – is required for all regulated operators. The amount required is based on the volume of oil produced, stored, or transported. SPAR verifies the financial resources of regulated operators through the examination of financial records required by law.
For more information about the Division of Spill Prevention and Response, please contact:
Louise Cochrane, Secretary for Larry Dietrick, Director
Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Spill Prevention and Response
410 Willoughby Ave., Suite 303
P.O. Box 111800
Juneau, AK 99811-1800
Telephone: (907) 465-5250
Fax Number: (907) 465-5262