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Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Presentation


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Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Presentation

  1. 1. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and Kodiak Island May 12, 2008 Louise Bassette, Andrea Johnson, Christine Coonradt, John McCabe
  2. 2. Background <ul><li>March 24 th , 1989 </li></ul><ul><li>Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground on Bligh Reef </li></ul><ul><li>Spilled 11 million gallons of oil into the Prince William Sound, Alaska </li></ul>
  3. 3. Probable Causes of the Grounding <ul><li>Improper maneuvering of the vessel </li></ul><ul><li>Improper navigation (alcohol impairment?) </li></ul><ul><li>Fatigue </li></ul><ul><li>Ineffective vessel traffic system, U.S. Coast Guard </li></ul><ul><li>Ineffective pilot and escort services </li></ul>
  4. 4. Behavior of the Oil
  5. 5. Control and Cleanup <ul><li>Controlled burns </li></ul><ul><li>Mechanical </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Booms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skimmers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Permanent storage containers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Chemical </li></ul><ul><ul><li>dispersants </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sensitive environments were identified, defined according to degree of cleanup, and then ranked for their priority for cleanup </li></ul>
  6. 6. Shoreline Treatment <ul><li>Hoses spraying seawater flushed oil from shorelines </li></ul><ul><li>Heated seawater </li></ul><ul><li>Manual cleanup </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Raking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tilling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oily debris pickup </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bioremediation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spot washing </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Remaining Oil <ul><li>Cleanup efforts were greatly reduced by the Spring of 1991 </li></ul><ul><li>2001 NOAA study surveyed 96 sites along 8,000 miles of coastline </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Surface oil not good indicator of subsurface oil </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oil saturated subsurface regions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Areas with the most subsurface oil were found low in the intertidal zones </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Economic Impacts <ul><li>Recreational sport fishing losses </li></ul><ul><li>Tourism losses </li></ul><ul><li>Existence value </li></ul><ul><li>Replacement costs </li></ul><ul><li>of birds and animals </li></ul>
  9. 9. Ecological Impacts <ul><li>250,000 Birds </li></ul><ul><li>250 Bald Eagles </li></ul><ul><li>2,800 Sea Otters </li></ul><ul><li>300 Harbor Seals </li></ul><ul><li>Thousands of fish, herring eggs, and crabs </li></ul><ul><li>At least 22 Killer Whales </li></ul><ul><li>Intertidal plants and animals </li></ul>
  10. 10. Litigation <ul><li>In 1994, class action jury trial held a federal court in Anchorage, Alaska </li></ul><ul><li>Plaintiffs: 32,000 fishermen, natives, and landowners affected by the oil </li></ul><ul><li>Exxon was to pay $5 billion in punitive damages </li></ul><ul><li>Exxon has repeatedly appealed the damages award </li></ul>
  11. 11. Lessons Learned from the Oil Spill <ul><li>Chemical and physical cleanup efforts can result in strong biological reactions with the environment </li></ul><ul><li>Oil that has seeped into soil can resurface over time </li></ul><ul><li>Type of environment influences oil degradation rates </li></ul><ul><li>Oil penetrates deep and weathers slowly on rocky, rubble shores </li></ul><ul><li>Extensive damage to animals from long-term interactions with their environment </li></ul><ul><li>Exposure to weathered oil effects fish growth and behavior </li></ul>
  12. 12. Improvements in Oil Spill Prevention and Response Planning <ul><li>Monitoring full tankers via satellite </li></ul><ul><li>Two escort vessels accompanying tankers while they pass through the entire sound </li></ul><ul><li>Specially trained marine pilots </li></ul><ul><li>Double-hulled tankers </li></ul><ul><li>Yearly drills held for spill scenarios </li></ul><ul><li>New and improved skimming technologies </li></ul><ul><li>More storage space for spilled oil </li></ul><ul><li>More containment booms available </li></ul><ul><li>Oil Pollution Act of 1990 </li></ul>
  13. 13. The Exxon Valdez