Division of Spill Prevention and Response

Breadcrumbs

Spill Prevention

1. Prevention - 2. Preparedness - 3. Response

 

Table of Contents


Overview
Oil Spill Prevention Plans
Chemical Spill Prevention
Spill Prevention Inspections
Best Available Technology Reviews
Spill Prevention Education and Technical Assistance

The first goal of the Division of Spill Prevention and Response’s (SPAR) mission is spill prevention - making the system “safer”.

 

The core elements of prevention include:

 


Escort vessels are a key prevention measure that enhances the safety of marine oil transportation in Prince William Sound.

Spill prevention is critical because of the high risks posed by Alaska’s environment. The objective is to reduce the number and volume of oil and hazardous substance spills.


Oil Spill Prevention Plans

SPAR ensures that regulated operators engage in proper spill prevention techniques through review of prevention plans that must be submitted as part of an operator’s oil discharge prevention and contingency plan. Corrosion monitoring, leak detection, overflow alarms, secondary containment, tank inspections, pipeline testing, and tanker escort systems are among the requirements that SPAR staff verify through plan review and follow-up inspections.

 

Chemical Spill Prevention

Chlorine and ammonia are used in many Alaska communities for seafood processing and water treatment, and pose the primary chemical threats to Alaskans. Other prevalent hazardous chemicals that pose a threat include hydrogen sulfide, formaldehyde, sulfuric acid, and sodium cyanide. SPAR maintains and updates information on Alaska’s chemical hazards for use by communities as an aid in preparing local response plans. This information is also used to identify communities at risk from a chemical release for non-regulatory prevention inspections and drills. The state’s hazmat response teams target the chemicals which may pose a threat.

 

Spill Prevention Inspections

Leak detection systems are now required for all underground storage tanks in Alaska. A line leak detector is shown.

Leak detection systems are now required for all underground storage tanks in Alaska.

 

Division staff trained to American Petroleum Institute standards conduct on-site inspections of regulated operations, including oil exploration and production facilities, pipelines, tank vessels and oil barges, and aboveground and underground storage tank facilities.

SPAR’s privatized underground storage tank inspection program is working to ensure that the leak detection and corrosion monitoring systems at new installations protect Alaska’s environment.

 

 

 

 


Best Available Technology Reviews

New tanks installed in Emmonak in 2000. With approximately 410,000 gallon capacity, secondary containment and regular maintenance, this facility will safely serve the needs of the community for years.

New tanks installed in Emmonak in 2000. With approximately 410,000 gallon capacity, secondary containment and regular maintenance, this facility will safely serve the needs of the community for years.

 

Industry prevention plans must incorporate the use of best available technology (BAT) to ensure that the oil is kept in the container. Operators must demonstrate that the technologies identified in their plans meet the BAT requirement. SPAR periodically conducts evaluations of technologies subject to the BAT requirements and may issue written findings for those technologies considered the best available. Operators who select established BAT technologies are not required to conduct an independent analysis of those technologies.

Spill Prevention Education and Technical Assistance

SPAR engages in public outreach to prevent and reduce the occurrence of oil and hazardous substance releases from home heating oil tanks, marinas, aboveground storage tanks, facilities that handle hazardous chemicals, and other unregulated sources. Efforts may include manuals, handbooks and other educational materials, public service announcements, training in proper spill prevention techniques, and non-regulatory audits and inspections.


The Nanuq is one of two 10,000-horsepower, cyclodial-propelled tractor tugs with unique maneuvering capabilities that provide an escort to every laden tanker transiting Prince William Sound.

The Nanuq is one of two tractor tugs with unique maneuvering capabilities that provide an escort to every laden tanker transiting Prince William Sound.

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
Email: Louise.Cochrane@alaska.gov