Using a College Based Program to Train Oil Spill Responders

Prince William Sound Community College (PWSCC) is a small, independently accredited college located in Valdez, Alaska. Port Valdez is home to the marine terminal of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Based on the history of Prince William Sound and the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster, the oil industry has seen the need to ramp up and bolster its oil spill response capabilities. The Alyeska Pipeline Service Company (Alyeska), an organization that represents the oil industry owners of the pipeline system, operates the marine oil delivery terminal.

Commercial Fishing Vessels and Ship Escort Response Vessel Service

The Ship Escort Response Vessel Service (SERVS) was developed to serve as the Oil Spill Response Organization (OSRO) for the Valdez Marine Oil Terminal. These organizations are a requirement of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA90), the act that was put into place after the Exxon Valdez spill of 1989.

The oil industry operating in Prince William Sound is required to have a spill contingency plan in place and practice using it throughout the year. After the Exxon Valdez spill, the oil industry recognized the importance of using commercial fishing vessels and their crews as oil spill responders. It would be difficult, if not impossible for …