Page 24: of Marine News Magazine (November 2019)
COLUMN OP/ED tives to meet key oil spill response re- The Network is an Alaska-based nationally-important and ecological- quirements in Alaska and the Arctic. non-pro? t organization funded by ly-sensitive area, and stakeholders’
While ? exibility is normally an asset the maritime industry, and we have a interests should be incorporated into for the maritime industry and the pro- history of helping vessel owners main- planning and decision-making to ad- tection of the coastline of the contigu- tain compliance with federal shipping vance oil spill preparedness. We must ous states, in Alaska, this ? exibility has guidelines in Alaska. We are keenly replace the current system of subjec- only caused confusion and has resulted aware of OPA 90’s shortfalls and the tive and discretionary oil spill response in unintended consequences, including need for improvements. The Network alternatives with clear requirements a lack of consistency, clarity, and qual- provides not just oil spill response re- and principles that incentivize inci- ity of oil spill prevention and response sources for our participants; we also dent prevention and swift response.
readiness. This has placed the U.S. Arc- invest in and consistently support The size of the Arctic is daunting tic region at increased risk of a spill or efforts to pioneer innovative safety and the lack of infrastructure is chal- other disaster due to maritime activity. measures designed to prevent mari- lenging. As this ? nal frontier of ship-
This problem is exacerbated by the time incidents from happening in the ping opens up to the world, it is criti- fact that more vessels are traversing ? rst place. Our perspective is that re- cal that we have guidelines in place to this region than ever before. There are ducing risk and improving response ensure its protection. Thirty years ago, approximately 10,000 large ocean-go- capacity go hand-in-hand. in the wake of disaster, Congress acted ing cargo vessel transits every year that It’s time for Congress to amend swiftly, fundamentally shifting and im- sail through the southern U.S. Arctic OPA 90 to re? ect the new realities of proving maritime disaster policy. The region following trade routes from an evolving Arctic Region, and ensure time has come to revisit OPA 90 so
Asia to North America. This level of its pristine environment is protected that it re? ects the unique challenges of activity in the Arctic is unprecedent- for generations to come. Oil spill pre- the U.S. Arctic region. Congress must ed, and was not fully considered when vention and response standards need take a proactive approach – we cannot
OPA 90 was written. to be speci? cally developed for this wait for a major oil spill disaster to be the mechanism that ultimately forces change. There is simply too much at stake. The time to act is now.
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Buddy Custard is the President and
Chief Executive Of? cer of the Alaska
We have you covered
Maritime Prevention & Response Net- in every sector of the industry.
work. He possesses extensive knowledge and expertise working maritime opera- tions from both the public and private
The Maritime Media Network’s diverse sectors, including serving with the U.S. portfolio of publications includes:
Coast Guard for over 30 years attaining the rank of Captain and as an execu-
Maritime Reporter & Engineering News, tive for an oil exploration and produc- tion company operating in the U.S.
Marine News and Marine Technology Reporter
Arctic Outer Continental Shelf for over 3 years. Buddy holds broad knowledge
Reaching a total average circulation of 114,930, these four on Arctic and Alaska maritime issues from both the industry’s and govern- publications reach decision makers all over the maritime ment’s perspective, ranging from search industry, are audited by BPA, and are only available in and rescue, oil spill prevention and re- the Maritime Network. sponse, offshore oil and gas exploration, law enforcement, ? sheries management, domain awareness, and the signi? cant challenges of working and supporting operations in both the Arctic and the waters of Alaska. www.alaskaseas.org
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