Comments sought on oil spill risk reduction

The Cook Inlet Risk Assessment Advisory Team is asking for public comments and ideas on ways to reduce the chances of accidental oil spills or to reduce spills’ impact on the area’s waters.

The U.S. Coast Guard, Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation created the Cook Inlet Risk Assessment to look into spill risk reduction measures, like policies, rules, equipment, systems and services, among others, according to a press release.

“It can be something fairly obvious or traditional such as a vessel traffic system that monitors and controls the movement of vessels transiting Cook Inlet. Or, it may be something less obvious, such as a sub-sea pipeline that would take the place of tankers moving oil across Cook Inlet,” CIRCAC officials wrote in a release.

The risk assessment project is guided by a management team of the aforementioned agencies, a 14-member advisory panel including mariners, marine pilots, port directors, fishermen, subsistence users, and others. The project previously completed three technical studies analyzing vessel traffic, accident frequencies, and potential consequences from spills, according to a release.

A list of risk reduction measures set to be considered can be found at www.cookinletriskassessment.com. All public suggestions will be considered by the advisory team at a late February meeting and comments on existing ideas are welcomed as well.

Comments may be submitted by Feb. 4 to ciracomments@nukaresearch.com, by mail to CIRA Comments, Nuka Research, PO Box 175, Seldovia, AK 99663, or by fax to (240) 394-4855.

— Staff report

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