Alyeska Pipeline Service Company conducts oil spill response exercises

On the cusp of the 25th anniversary of the ExxonValdez Oil Spill in 2014, members of the Cordova oil spill response fleet recently participated in a regular spring SERVS spill drill in Orca Inlet. Cordova Times file, 2014

Annual spring oil spill response training in underway by Alyeska Pipeline Service Company and support staff for fishing vessels six communities around Prince William Sound, from Kodiak, Homer and Seward to Whittier, Cordova and Valdez. 

The Fishing Vessel Program partners with vessel crews to provide training for oil spill response by contracting with over 350 vessels in the six ports. Each year crew members attend two days of hands-on training in their community, practicing with response equipment on shore before deploying skimmers, boom and other equipment from their vessels on water.

Community members may notice increased vessel movements and equipment deployments if they’re in the area.  The oil spill response program began in the wake of the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster of March 24, 1989, at that time the worst oil spill in U.S. waters at that time, until the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. Within days after the oil tanker plowed into a cold water reef the oil spread some 1,300 miles along the coast of what was pristine wilderness.

The oil spill response exercises, by community, include Kodiak on March 31-April 3; Homer on April 6-10; Seward on April 13-14; Whittier on April 18-20; Cordova on April 23-29; and Valdez on May 2-5.