Oil spill response facility build begins this year

By the Native Village of Eyak

More than three decades after the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, and the subsequent consent decree that mandated three oil spill response facilities in Prince William Sound, Cordova’s facility is scheduled to begin construction this year.

The other two mandated oil spill response facilities in Chenega and Tatitlek have already been built.

The Native Village of Eyak is leading the project, known as the Shepard Point Marine Tribal Transportation Oil Spill Response and Marine Casualty Facility, is designed to provide an oil spill response facility and deep-water port served by Cordova’s all-weather airport that can receive oil spill response equipment from around the world and get equipment on the water quickly in the event of a marine casualty or disaster, regardless of tides.

The Shepard Point facility has received the primary federal and state permits needed to proceed, and funding to make the project a reality.

The project includes a 4.32-mile access road to Shepard Point, along with four bridge crossings, a 5.5-acre staging area, a steel sheet pile seawall, a deep-water dock design and a small boat launch. Any other potential future use of the port or facilities, such as cruise ship use, would require a separate permitting process and is not included in the project’s approved permits.


The project benefits to the Cordova area and Prince William Sound are numerous including the ability to respond to any marine accidents quickly, particularly incidents that require urgent and immediate response. The project will also provide short-term construction jobs for Alaskans.

Construction begins this year with a three-year timeline. We will continue to host community meetings such as the open house that took place on Jan. 26 in Cordova. As the project moves forward, NVE will continue to provide project updates to the community.