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May 2015 Newsletter

May 2015 Newsletter Volume 1

The Alaska Maritime Prevention & Response Network (Network) provides vessels operating in Alaska best management practices and capabilities that exceed environmental regulations.

Because most of Alaska is either remote, inaccessible, or both, compliance with standard federal pollution response regulations is not possible.  Recognizing the special needs of Alaska, the regulations provide for alternative planning measures in order to meet the federal requirements.  Without these Alternative Planning Criteria (APC), it would be impossible for vessel operators to meet the spill response requirements.

The Network was created by Alaskans working in the Alaska maritime industry who share a common goal of reducing risks to the Alaskan environment.  For non-tank vessels, the Network APC provides regulatory compliance in Captain of the Port Zones for Western Alaska and Prince William Sound.  For tank vessels, the Network APC provides regulatory compliance for Captain of the Port Zone Western Alaska, excluding Cook Inlet. These APC provide the foundation for our organization.  Enrollees in the Network are provided with a Certificate of Participation and other documents describing the enrollees’ obligations.  This Certificate of Participation is accepted by the U. S. Coast Guard as evidence of the enrollee’s compliance with applicable federal oil spill prevention and response regulations through the Network’s APC.

The Network remains the only U. S. Coast Guard approved alternative plan for compliance with federal pollution and prevention regulations in Western Alaska and Prince William Sound.

Risk Reduction

A key component of the Network’s APC is reducing the risk of an incident.  No other program focuses on this aspect more than the Network.  We at the Network believe avoiding an incident is far preferable to responding to a marine casualty and our program clearly demonstrates that belief.  Network enrollees agree to use risk reduction measures developed by the Network and approved by stakeholders and the U. S. Coast Guard while in transit. These include providing advance notice of sailings, sailing on pre-determined routes that mitigate risk and timely notice of an occurrence.   This unique approach is warranted in Alaska where offshore and open water oil spill recovery is more challenging and less effective than in any other maritime region of the U. S.

2014 Accomplishments

  • Enrolled over 2,000 vessels, providing compliance without interruption of maritime commerce
  • Monitored vessel compliance & maintained communications 24 hours per day, 7 days per week
  • Enhanced vessel tracking capability with additional terrestrial AIS sites
  • Developed/implemented Emergency Information Communications System (EICS)
  • Funded OSRO acquisition/staging of 2 large vessel booming packages & a Western Alaska Rapid Response equipment package. Augmented equipment hubs in Dutch Harbor and Anchorage, new hub in Adak will be established in the Spring of 2015.  Grant added  over 1 mile  of ocean boom, nearly  1/2 mile  of containment boom &  increased EDRC by   over 6000bbls
  • Expanded Network’s Board of Directors to include representatives from the Alaska fishing industry, cruise ship operators, container vessels, and trade associations
  • Initiated Research & Development project for large-ship arrestor equipment

2015 Accomplishments

  • Implemented web based enrollment system, streamlining the process for enrollees
  • Worked closely with International Group of P&I Clubs resulting in a conforming contract
  • Second grant to OSRO provided  over 1 mile  of ocean boom,  over 4 1/2 miles  of containment boom and  increased EDRC by nearly 11,000bbls . This grant yields the equivalent of 2 large vessel booming packages, 10 rapid response packages,  new equipment hubs  in  Atka, Cold Bay, St. Paul and Kotzebue and enhancement of existing hubs  in  Anchorage, Kodiak, Dutch Harbor and Nome
  • Planning initiated to exercise Western Alaska Rapid Response Package