NEWS & UPDATES
May 22, 2022 - Building on Don Young’s Legacy of Protecting Alaska Oceans
By ACN President & CEO Buddy Custard May 22 marks National Maritime Day. Congress established it in 1933 in commemoration of the steam ship Savannah and her maiden voyage, which was the first trans-Atlantic journey ever made by a steam-powered vessel. In the 203 years since the Savannah departed her eponymous port in Georgia…
11/25/2022 - Matson Exercise Support
ACN operations personnel participated in a tabletop exercise with Matson Shipping for the Port of Anchorage terminal. ACN personnel supported operations and planning sections during the exercise, providing field experience recommendations to the Incident Command staff.
11/25/2022 - North Pole Refinery Equipment Deployment
In August, ACN personnel traveled to Fairbanks, AK to conduct equipment maintenance at our response hub and participate in an exercise with the Petro Star North Star refinery. The scenario was based on a discharge into a large pond on the refinery property. ACN crew assisted in training refinery personnel in how to safely respond to such an incident per the scenario.
11/25/2022 - M/V Maunalei Hub Leak
Alaska Chadux Network supported the M/V Maunalei with containing a leaking shaft seal this fall. The incident occurred while the vessel made a port call at the Port of Alaska in August before getting repaired in Oregon following the port call. ACN teams met the vessel at the port and deployed boom around the affected area of the ship, and maintained a live watch on-site for over 24 hours while the ship was offloading cargo.
11/25/2022 - Kaktovik Tank Farm Release
ACN supported the North Slope Borough (NSB) in late August providing support for fuel release into the secondary containment area at the fuel facility in Kaktovik. We worked in coordination with NSB Spill Response Coordinator and Umiaq Environmental. The team completed the recovery of oil, dewatered the secondary containment area of the spill site, and assisted with transferring fuel from damaged tanks to other storage tanks.
11/25/2022 - Point Lay Tank Facility Spill
This August, ACN supported the North Slope Borough (NSB) by providing support for a fuel release into secondary containment at the fuel facility in Point Lay. Working with the NSB and Umiaq Environmental, the ACN crew recovered approximately 7,500 gallons of oil/water mix, separated and filtered the water out, and returned the fuel back into a tank for use.
11/25/2022 - U.S. Coast Guard Visits Pacific Rim Response Center in Kodiak
On November 9, 2022, the new Chief of Response for U. S. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage (Commander Chris Svencer) visited the Pacific Rim Response Center (PRRC). Dan Powell, lead spill response technician from Alaska Chadux̂ Network (ACN), said the visit reinforced the marine casualty response capability that ACN has built out in Western Alaska. “Many people do not understand the resources available in central and western Alaska ACN has developed,” Powell said. “Commander Svencer’s visit to the PRRC was an opportunity to highlight the depth of ACN’s marine casualty response capabilities and the challenges of responding in Western Alaska.” Russell Rosner, Paradigm Marine Kodiak Supervisor, provided a tour of several Paradigm Marine response vessels berthed at the PRRC. “We welcomed the visit by Commander Svencer at the PRRC. It was a great opportunity to help him learn about all our marine response capabilities,” said Rosner re-capping the visit. In addition to visiting the ocean going tug Pacific…
11/25/2022 - Alaska DEC New Online Reporting System – Spill Reporter
In October, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s (ADEC) Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Program activated Spill Reporter, a new online spill reporting portal. ADEC encourages spillers to use Spill Reporter in lieu of making telephone notifications required by 18 AAC 75.300(a). Spill Reporter is accessible at ReportSpills.alaska.gov. Under 18 AAC 75.300(a), persons in charge of a facility or operation at which a discharge or release of oil or other hazardous substances occurs are required to notify the department of the spill by telephone within specific timeframes based on volume and receiving environment. Spill Reporter was developed to make reporting spills to ADEC easier and quicker for all potential spillers. It is an easy-to-use program that can be used anywhere in the state. Alaska state law requires all oil and hazardous substance releases to be reported to the Department of Environmental Conservation. For federal reporting requirements, see the National Response Center website. DEC encourages facilities that…
11/25/2022 - Typhoon Merbok Response
In September, ACN was mobilized via Global Diving & Savage BOA for a USCG-led response to collect oily debris in the village of Chevak caused by the remnants of Typhoon Merbok. Our response team worked closely with the U.S. Coast Guard and Global Diving & Salvage on-site personnel in this response. The team was based at Bethel as Chevak was incapable of housing the team due to the devastation caused by the storm and flew daily to/from Chevak to conduct the cleanup.
11/23/2022 - Federal Legislation Update
The U.S. Congress continues to work on establishing clear and consistent oil spill response standards for Western Alaska. While the concept of Alternative Planning Criteria (APC) was initially welcomed as a better fit for Alaska, in reality, the process for establishing APC in Alaska lacks uniform standards, which results in arbitrary and inconsistent application of what acceptable APCs are. This creates confusion and disparity of oil spill response capabilities available to planholders. This lack of standards has demonstrated APCs are subject to frequent and unpredictable changes due to the subjective nature of what is required for an acceptable APC at any given time. This uncertainty creates an environment where industry rates and requirements could (and have) changed quickly due to the capricious requirements from frequent differences in interpretation by the regulatory agency. The Don Young Coast Guard Authorization Act (H.R. 6865) would establish a rules-based system tailored for oil spill response in Alaska. The legislation…
11/23/2022 - Western Alaska Tanker Lightering Best Practices Committee Meeting
The Western Alaska Tanker Lightering Best Practices Committee met on November 10, 2022, with participants providing a recap on another successful season delivering fuel throughout the Western Alaska communities. The Committee’s united voice reflects its strong commitment to enhancing safe, efficient, and environmentally sound tanker fuel transfer maritime operations in Western Alaska by fostering a productive exchange of information among tanker owners and operators, and other stakeholders, establishing and promoting best practices and standards of care. Over 133 million gallons of fuel was safely delivered this season due in part to the best practice guidelines generated by this committee and through close coordination among the vessel operators, federal and state regulators, marine pilots, and other stakeholders.