With passage of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, Congress recognized the enormous environmental, social and economic risks associated with the marine transport of crude oil. OPA 90 was designed to address many of these risks and created the Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound Regional Citizens Advisory Councils (RCACs) as mechanisms to combat the industry, regulatory and public complacency which was believed to be a contributing factor leading up to the spill. Through the RCACs, the citizens with the most to lose and the most to contribute are represented and engaged as active participants in problem-solving and decision-making to prevent future disasters.
Through OPA 90, Congress directed CIRCAC to “review and assess measures designed to prevent oil spills and the planning and preparedness for responding to, containing, cleaning up, and mitigating of oil spills” and “devise and manage a comprehensive program of monitoring the environmental impacts of the operations of terminal facilities and of crude oil tankers.”
The project and program highlights described in this report will serve to illustrate CIRCAC’s strategy to fulfill these broad OPA 90 mandates through risk identification, assessment and mitigation.