Prince William SOUNDKEEPER®

Clean Water   Healthy Fisheries   Strong Communities

What's News

  • 10 Apr 2015 7:03 PM | Kate McLaughlin (Administrator)

    Deadline for comments on the proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to amend the requirements in the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP) that govern the USE of DISPERSANTS, OTHER CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL AGENTS, and OTHER SPILL MITIGATING SUBSTANCES when responding to oil discharges into waters of the U.S. is 

    April 22

    This is the first time in 21 years that these regulations have been revised and updated.  Read full document here: 

    Feel free to add the following points to your own in a public comment. Public comment may be made through the federal register link above. 

    1.  Chemicals used to "clean up" the spill are causing more harm (of unknown types) than the spill itself.  A determination should be made for types of chemicals to be used in appropriate ecosystems and seasons. Testing should be carried out before any chemicals are used in an actual incident. 

    2.  Planning BEFORE a spill:  Currently there are three levels of oils spill response planning: national, regional, area. Each of these are comprised of EPA, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as well as level appropriate agencies.  Human health agencies should also be included in response planning such as: Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) at all planning levels to ensure the public and workers are safe during responses. 

    3. Public notification systems, training, and processes need to be implemented when staging and storing chemicals and dispersants in communities.

    4. Clarification of the agency in charge during an incident.  The responsible party for the spill should never be allowed to control mitigation and cleanup.  The EPA or the US Coast Guard is recommended as the appropriate command entity.  The local on scene commander (OSC) should never have unlimited authority to direct any chemicals or dispersants unless previously established in a pre-authorization plan. However, the OSC should have the authority to alter response actions if any harm to the ecosystem, workers, or public is identified. 

    5. Public Reporting must be conducted in a timely and frequent manner, preferably daily, on the status of the spill response. 

  • 23 Mar 2015 1:08 PM | Kate McLaughlin (Administrator)

    Mark you calendars for September 15, 2015 - that's the date the Government has kicked the can (again) down the line until they decide whether Alaska should push ExxonMobil to give Alaska the $192 million that is owed to us in the 1991 Re-Opener Clause.

    "Government attorneys, in a court filing March 16, said the state’s decision has been slowed in part by the recent change in administration. Gov. Bill Walker took office Dec. 1. The new attorney general and Fish and Game commissioner are members of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council and they also need to be attentive and responsive to the Legislature, which is currently in session, the filing states."

    Remember, we have only until 2016 to make the claim before time runs out!  
  • 01 Feb 2015 12:15 PM | Anonymous

    Thank you Representative Josephson for reintroducing HJR 12 - Exxon-Valdez Oil Spill Damages/Reopener. Glad to know we aren't the only ones who haven't forgotten what is still owed.

    HJR12: "Urging the Alaska Department of Law and the United States Department of Justice to file a motion in United States District Court to compel the ExxonMobil Corporation to honor the commitment to pay additional damages for the Exxon Valdez oil spill under the "Reopener for Unknown Injury" provision of the 1991 Agreement and Consent Decree and to collect the full demand for payment the state and federal government submitted to the ExxonMobil Corporation on August 31, 2006; and urging the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council immediately to initiate subsurface lingering oil restoration work. "

  • 01 Jan 2015 12:17 PM | Anonymous

    There are several bills that have been introduced in the 2015 Alaska Legislature that have implications for water quality.  They are:

    HB 14, Ban Plastic Microbeads in Cosmetics, Josephson -"An Act banning the manufacture, sale, or offering for sale of a cosmetic that contains plastic microbeads; and providing for an effective date."

    HB 20, Ban Neonicotinoid Pesticides, Drummond -"An Act limiting the application of neonicotinoid pesticides."

    HB 38, Aquatic Invasive Species, Seaton   -"An Act relating to the rapid response to, and control of, aquatic invasive species and establishing the aquatic invasive species response fund."

    HB 53, Use of Pesticides and Broadcast Chemicals,  Kreiss-Tomkins, Ortiz - "An Act relating to the application of pesticides and broadcast chemicals in certain public places near fish habitat or water used for human consumption and on state-owned land, land leased by or to the state, state highways, and state-owned rights-of-way."

  • 01 Oct 2014 12:19 PM | Anonymous

    An application to operate a commercial float lodge on Montague Island in western PWS was only approved to be at their lodge in Eshamy Bay.  The request to operate in other locations around Montague Island was denied.  DNR received 74 comments this activity request, 2 advisory and 72 against the permit.  Thank you everyone who commented.   


    Without proper oversight, regulation and limits, floating lodges have the potential to create many negative environmental and public safety impacts.  The owners and operators of the Eshamy Float Lodge now have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to prove that they can be good stewards and operate successfully without negatively impacting Prince William Sound’s water quality.

  • 01 Sep 2014 12:20 PM | Anonymous

    Reminder of Public Comment Opportunity on the Valdez Marine Terminal Oil Discharge Prevention and Contingency Plan (VMT C-Plan):   

    The public review on the renewal of the VMT C-Plan began August 6, 2014.  Comments have been extended to November 21, 2014 while this review is ongoing. 

    PWSK is supporting the recommendation being made to the AK DEC by the PWS Regional Citizen's Advisory Council.

    For further information, please contact Linda Swiss (

  • 01 Jul 2014 12:21 PM | Anonymous

    The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has been rewriting the regulations for the “Large Commercial Passenger Vessel Discharge Permit”.  These regulations will replace the dismantled 2006 Citizen’s Cruise Ship Wastewater Ballot Initiative, completing the overturning of the will of the people in passing this legislation. The draft is very discouraging as it re-introduces the failed concept of “mixing zones” and allows for wastewater to be discharged from vessels while in harbor, or even at dock.  The 2006 Voter Initiative did not allow mixing zones, which are not enforceable, especially moving mixing zones.  Currently there are waste water to tap water solutions to drought stricken areas being implemented, so the unattainable technology issue isn't defendable any more.  Nor does the old argument "municipalities do it" hold up as municipalities do not cruise down Montague Strait or up College Fjord.

    Public comment was held for less than a month in the spring of this year.  Read the full draft here:

    PWSK will be watching for the next development of these so-called regulations to protect Alaskan waters.

  • 01 Jun 2014 12:22 PM | Anonymous

    With an El Nino event shaping up in North Pacific this summer, Prince William Sound and the North Gulf Coast of Alaska should see significantly warmer waters.  Warm waters can have a negative effect upon water quality and the productivity of ecosystems. 

    Prince William Sound is a cold water ecosystem. Salmon depend upon ice cold, oxygen rich fresh water to spawn and rear young successfully.  Warming temperatures and waters could disrupt this process with unexpected flooding events, loss of nutrients fry depend upon, and a less successful hatching rate.  Once in the ocean, warmer waters could effect the food resources smolt depend upon, and warming water can promote diseases and parasites of types and virulence that doesn't usually occur.

    There is also a significant public health concern with warming water temperatures in Prince William Sound this year.  Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) has commonly occurred outside of the Sound, but our cold waters and swift currents have, to the best of our knowledge, kept an event from occurring here. 

    Today scientists believe it is only a matter of time before a human illness is caused by PSP in PWS.  Visit the below link to understand more on this subject, and to learn how to protect yourself from Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning.

  • 01 May 2014 12:23 PM | Anonymous

    Legislative Actions Disenfranchising Alaskans:

    The good news this month was that HB77 was removed

    from consideration this legislative session. 

    But while we were all celebrating the defeat of House

    Bill 77, Senators Dyson and Geisel introduced House

    Bill 47 – A bill addressing the Preliminary Injunction

    procedure, a.k.a. The Silencing Alaskan's Act Part II.   

    This bill would make those asking the Courts to delay

    industry development/proceedings post a security

    deposit for any "damages suffered" by the industry in

    the suit.  There already exists in our legal structure

    plenty of checks and balances against “frivolous” 

    lawsuits.  HB47 would only further restrict citizens,

    Native Alaskans, and Non-profits from having their

    voices heard.  HB47 was passed through the

    Legislature and will more than likely be signed

    into law by Gov. Parnell. 


    Senate Joint Resolution 25 which urged the State and

    Federal Governments to compel ExxonMobil to pay

    the $92 million dollars they still owe Alaskan's and

    Prince William Sound under the Re-Opener for

    Unknown Injury Clause that was a part of the 1991

    settlement, died quietly in committee.

    Another good bill HB325, which called for a modest

    increase on the oil & gas production surcharge that

    provides funding for the Oil Spill Protection Fund, was

    also killed in committee due to strong opposition from


  • 01 Mar 2014 12:28 PM | Anonymous

    25 Years of Prevention:         

    Commemorating the Exxon Valdez

    Oil Spill        

    The Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory

    Council will lead hour-long presentations and discussion

    commemorating the 25th anniversary of the March 24,

    1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill throughout the month of

    March, beginning next week.

    The presentation will include history of the spill,

    changes that have occurred since the spill to help

    protect the environment and affected communities,

    and prevention work that will continue to be needed.

    If you have questions about this schedule of events,

    please contact Lisa Matlock at       


    Flyers for the presentations are available on the

    PWSRCAC website:

    Tuesday, March 4, 7 pm at the Valdez Museum

    Thursday, March 6, noon Alaska SeaLife Center- Seward

    Tuesday, March 11, 7 pm US Forest Service-Cordova

    Thursday, March 13, 6 pm Pratt Museum in Homer

    Tuesday, March 18, 6:30 pm Kodiak Library

    Friday, March 21, 7 pm PWS Community College-Glennallen

    Monday, March 24, 6-8 pm Loussac Library-Anchorage

Prince William Soundkeeper, PO Box 1368, Cordova, Alaska, 99574  tel: 907-424-5701  a 501c(3) non-profit organization.
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