Borough grant to help spill watchdog

Posted: Sunday, October 14, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council has received a $250,000 grant from the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

The borough Assembly voted 9-0 to give the money to the group, which monitors Cook Inlet oil shipping. The funds will help broaden the panel's scope to ensure that other big vessels, such as some fish tenders and cargo and cruise ships, also are ready to react to oil spills.

State law already requires oil shippers to prepare for spills. New nontanker oil spill regulations are nearly complete and should be in place late in 2002, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

CIRCAC has budgeted $45,000 of its borough grant to pay a contractor to help review contingency plans affecting Cook Inlet. The group will use the rest of the money to map sensitive shoreline habitat, monitor intertidal sea life for the affects of oil, participate in a proposed state review of the Inlet's aging subsea pipeline network and expand a public outreach program.

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