Oil Spill Prevention, Response and Preparedness
Alyeska Pipeline Service Company uses the best available technology to prevent oil spills along TAPS. In the event of an oil spill, Alyeska is ready to mobilize a rapid and comprehensive response. TAPS personnel participate in response training, drills and exercises throughout the year.
Alyeska prepares Oil Discharge Prevention and Contingency plans for the Pipeline, Valdez Marine Terminal and Prince William Sound. These plans are reviewed by state regulators and outline Alyeska’s prevention and response capabilities.
Trans Alaska Pipeline System Pipeline Oil Discharge Prevention and Contingency Plan
This plan outlines spill prevention measures established by Alyeska and response capabilities along the pipeline corridor. Alyeska has made commitments to the state regarding equipment, leak detection, personnel training and other areas.
Pipeline Prevention and Response Assets
Containment sites: More than 200 designated sites on or near drainages along TAPS. Criteria for selection: accessibility, river velocity, river channel configuration, environmental sensitivity. Equipment stored at containment sites varies per site and includes oil spill equipment, concrete anchors, and/or dam kits.
Equipment: Varies by response facility. Total inventory available includes the following:
- Vessels (jet boats, airboats, rafts, landing craft)
- Boom, containment: 48,500 feet
- Boom, fire: 2,150 feet
- Vacuum trucks
- Leak Detection: Four systems.
- Pipeline personnel trained in oil spill response. Each response facility has 24-hour oil spill response capabilities.
- Drills: Field drills are conducted to evaluate preparedness to react to an oil spill. The drills permit evaluation of the training program, particularly oil spill skills such as reconnaissance, assessment, and response.
- Training: Training consists of a five-day academy for new employees and a two-day refresher for existing employees.
Prince William Sound Tanker Oil Discharge Prevention and Contingency Plan:
Tankers transiting Prince William Sound are required by regulation to have oil spill contingency plans. The Prince William Sound Tanker Oil Discharge Prevention and Contingency Plan is a required part of each tanker’s individual contingency plan. Alyeska Pipeline is the primary response action contractor responsible for the implementation aspects of the tanker plan, primarily through its Ship Escort/Response Vessel System (SERVS). The prevention portion of this plan requires that each laden tanker transiting Prince William Sound must be escorted by two vessels, one of which must be a specially equipped prevention and response vessel or tug. Laden tankers are tethered to escort tugs from the Terminal through the Valdez Narrows and Valdez Arm. Also included in the plan are speed limits for tankers and weather restrictions. The response portion of the plan includes plans for open-water and nearshore shoreline response and support operations.
The Valdez Marine Terminal Oil Discharge Prevention and Contingency Plan
A comprehensive prevention plan outlining spill prevention measures taken at the Terminal, as well as a response section describing land and water response for spills originating from Terminal facilities. A spill from a tanker at berth or transiting Port Valdez is covered under the Prince William Sound Tanker Oil Discharge Prevention and Response Plan. Although a spill from a tanker is the responsibility of the tanker owner, Alyeska provides initial spill response.
Prince William Sound and Valdez Marine Terminal Prevention and Response Assets
- Personnel: Oil spill response crews trained to conduct land and water response operations are available 24 hours/day.
Equipment pre-staged throughout Prince William Sound includes:
- Barges: Eight barges (900,000 bbl, approximately, for recovered oil) and one flat-deck barge with sensitive-area protection boom (serves as on-water staging location).
- Boom: 49.7 miles of various types of containment and recovery boom.
- Skimmers, portable: Six barge-mounted; three vacuum skimmers; 24 weir/disc skimmers.
- Skimmer vessels, self-propelled
- Tugs: Eleven.
- Work boats
Prevention programs include:
- Corrosion control programs.
- Inspection and records.
- Preventive maintenance.
- Tank leak protection.
- Training programs.
- Transfer procedures.