Page images


As a consequence, Alaska, in concert with the States of Washington and Oregon, recommended to the USCG, in November of 1975, that the following systems be incorporated into tank vessels:

One: Inert gas systems are considered to be an essential item, not only a principal environmental protection device, but also as major safety device for the crews working aboard these vessels.

Two: Lateral thrusters. Alaska is concerned that vessels involved in the carriage of hazardous cargoes should have maneuverability characteristics compatible with conditions which may require greater maneuverability than is normally associated with other marine systems in the United States. Wind characteristics commonly experienced in Prince William Sound suggest that all possible technological advancements be utilized to maximize the vessel's maneuverability.

As an aside, I point out that within Alaska, we face a situation where we may have ports where we will be loading fuel oil and LNG and it's very possible that lateral thrusters would be better accommodations for this, or at least the necessary adjunct.

Three: Loran-C, with the construction of loran-C transmitting stations on the West Coast of North America to provide loran-C coverage for the Gulf of Alaska, and the West Coast, it is Alaska's intention to assure that the tank vessels be equipped with loran-C receivers to enable them to utilize this navigational system.

Four: Collision Avoidance System. Alsaka endorses the policy of the U.S. Maritime Administration and the USCG which requires a Collision Avoidance System on all new tankers. Alaska further endorses the National Transportation Safety Board which recommends that all vessels be equipped with a Collision Avoidance System.

Five: Segregated ballast incorporating double hulls and bottoms. As previously stated, Alaska recalls the promises made by then Secretary

The CHAIRMAN. I want to point out for the record before we get to that, that the NTSB hasn't been mentioned up until just now, but they have a role in this area. The Board is cated within the DOT although we attempted in this committee to make them independent of the Secretary of Transportation. The Department does their housekeeping and the budget and all that sort of thing. But they have a big role to play in this.

They have the authority to do a lot of things when it involves the question of safety.

Of course, their jurisdiction couldn't extend beyond our coastal zones or our own waters.

Go ahead.

Mr. PARKER. As previously stated, Alaska recalls the promises made by the then-Secretary of Interior, Rogers Morton, to the U.S. Congress stating that the trans-Alaska pipeline system tanker transportation system would incorporate the latest technological advances. Alaska feels that oil tankers operating in the trans-Alaska pipeline system trade must utilize segregated ballast and incorporate either a double hull or a double bottom design to fulfill this promise.


To this date, the USCG has not see nfit to mandate tanker construction standards incorporating double bottoms or double hulls.

The CHAIRMAN. Wait a minute.
Is this the conclusion of the Governors' Conference?
Mr. PARKER. This was the conclusion of the test-
The CHAIRMAN. The last sentence is whose conclusion?

Mr. PARKER. This is the conclusion of the position that was submitted to the USCG in their EIS on the double hulls and double bottoms.

The CHAIRMAN. From the Governors ?
Mr. PARKER. From the Governors, yes.

The CHAIRMAN. I wanted to be clear on that. That is the position of the Governors of Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California.

Mr. PARKER. That was only signed by the three Governors of Washington, California and Oregon. California submitted a separate statement.

The CHAIRMAN. California submitted testimony generally agreeing to these propositions that you are mentioning here now.

Mr. PARKER. That's correct.
The CHAIRMAN. Particularly on the double bottoms.
Mr. PARKER. That’s correct.

The CHAIRMAN. I think we will write the State of California, and see if they would now put their endorsement of this in writing, so that we would have it.

We will find out.

Mr. PARKER. Yes. I believe they are developing some information to send to you, Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. I have been contacted by a lot of people from California. They are in general agreement with this.

I wanted to be sure that we knew whose conclusion this was about double bottoms—“the USCG has not seen fit to mandate tanker construction standards incorporating double bottoms or double hulls.”

Mr. PARKER. Yes, Mr. Chairman. We feel very strongly that defensible space must be defined more exactly and double bottoms or double hulls are the best definition we have seen so far.


Well, as I said before, when you speak of double hulls and double bottoms, it is not just quite as simple as that. There are other things that might be done that serve the same purpose, but you call it a double bottom or double hull overall. I

suppose there are questions of ballast, wouldn't there be, and questions of other things that could keep a ship from sinking or spilling?

This is a technical problem. I understand that. That has to be defined, but the average public, they know what you mean when you are talking about double hulls and double bottoms as a means of making the ship as safe as possible within our technology.

All right.

Mr. PARKER. The State of Alaska would like to take this opportunity to commend the Secretary of Transportation and the USCG

for the steps they have initiated to install a vessel traffic system, VTS, in Prince William Sound. We are very appreciative of this and are cooperating fully in insuring the success of this effort.

We have recommended to the USCG in hearings held in Anchorage on February 24 of this year that the Prince William Sound vessel traffic system should incorporate a basic surveillance system in addition to the primary radar already contemplated. This basic surveillance system would be in the form of a loran-C retransmissio’ı system or its equivalent. We are assured that current technology permits such a system, and that the costs would be minimal. This system would enable vessels participating in the vessel traffic system to be tracked from approximately 30 miles south of Middleston Island to Port Valdez, a distance of approximately 152 miles, rather than the 35 miles of the track which would be covered by primary radar.

The CHAIRMAN. You are suggesting there an extension of what they are now planning to do, or have done, milewise, that is.

Is that right?

Mr. PARKER. We also asked that the Coast Guard recognize the need for more stringent crew training on large tank vessels by utilizing real time simulation for the training of pilots, masters, mates, and others involved in bridge operations on large tankers. Real time simulation should also be used to refine the procedures which would be used for the vessel traffic system as much as possible prior to the implementation of the regulations for that system. A copy of our full testimony to the Coast Guard on these two subjects is submitted with this statement.

The CHAIRMAN. Now, maybe you can't answer this, but I wonder if Alaska has considered what the State of Washington is considering. After the ship comes in and docks at Valdez, a source of a lot of problems is the transfer of the oil from shore to the ship. We have had a couple of spills where the valves weren't turned right because of lack of crew training. But our legislature, I don't know whether they will pass it this session or not, is considering a 2- or 3-cent tax on every barrel of oil. This money would be utilized by the State Department of Ecology, State Department of Environment it is in most States, for a spill prevention program at the transfer point.

It is not a bad idea to watch. In other words, they would watch the entire system after a ship docks.

It is like anything else, it is like a highway patrolman on the highways: they would send somebody up there quickly, or he could be in the area, to supervise this coupling between the ship and the pipeline and the tank or wherever it is coming from. The purpose is to make the transfer as safe as possible.

Just leaving it up to some crew member to watch that transfer may be too risky. It might be a good idea—I don't know whether Alaska has done anything about that or not.

Mr. CHAMPION. Mr. Chairman, the Alaska Pipeline Service Company contract with the State of Alaska includes as part of a contingency plan to the State and Federal Government for approval prior to 180 days of the startup of the pipeline. That would include

men, material, and equipment that would be continuously authorized, including the cleanup of Valdez Harbor.

The CHAIRMAN. Somebody has to watch and make sure it is being done right. If the vessel comes in from a long voyage, they just might say, "couple it up," and go about other business.

I hope this bill passes.

What is the use of arguing about 2 or 3 cents, if we are going to protect the shores of our inland waterways.

Mr. CHAMPION. That's correct.

Mr. PARKER. And, Mr. Chairman, both the legislature and the administration are considering several approaches on the training in areas of our control, such as more stringent training of pilots and control of vessels in port. And it probably will be financed by a centsper-barrel tax as has been the usual consensus.

The CHAIRMAN. It isn't going to be much. You don't need a great deal.

I suppose the Coast Guard might not have jurisdiction over this matter once the ship is docked. But maybe the Coast Guard could do it.

Well, we will find out.

But in inland seas it becomes a State matter, once they get ashore.

Mr. CHAMPION. That's correct.

Mr. PARKER. Continuing with the Governor's statement, a thorough review of the 1972 Ports and Waterways Safety Act leaves no doubt in my mind and that of many others that your legislative mandate to the USCG was to apply stringent tanker construction and operation standards. Moreover, the standards for tankers operating in domestic trade, Jones Act vessels, were to be more stringent than the IMCO requirements for vessels operating in international trade.

May I also emphasize in closing that it is of extreme importance that the individual States not be preempted from state legislation which would further enhance the Federal legislation. Alaska, therefore. strongly suggests that a nonpreemptive clause be added to the 1972 Ports and Safety Act which would specifically permit the individual States to promulgate standards tailored to their unique conditions.

Mr. Chairman, the Governor wants to offer his thanks to you for convening these hearings which are of tremendous importance to our State. And we think they come at a most opportune time in the march of events.

The CHAIRMAN. Well, we thank the Governor for his statement. It is very helpful to have the Alaskan position.

Now, your last suggestion in your statement is an amendment to the act, is that correct?

Mr. PARKER. Yes.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you have any such amendment prepared or do you want to submit one?

Nr. PARKER. We would submit it if desired, Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. You can submit it to your own Senator who is a member of this committee, and he will transfer it to the committee.


The CHAIRMAX. Now, I'm glad you mentioned that, because there has been a lot of confrontation between the States and the Federal Government. I think this is a matter that must be cleared up.

Now, for instance, in the Seattle paper dated February 20, this year, this statement which I want to read : “State laws designed to protect local marine environments infringe upon other areas and don't further overall sea safety," the chief ÚSCG marine safety officer said. “Legislation to protect coastal areas has come so quickly that it has caused a policy turnaround said Rear Admiral Benkert." A few years ago the USCG was concerned about protecting ships and cargo against the environment, but now we are faced with protecting the environment against ships. "Lawmakers," he said-he's talking about the State of Washington—“Lawmakers,” he said, "have been pressured into passing laws without receiving technical advise and before fully appraising the results."

Now, that is confrontation between what the Coast Guard may honestly want to do and what the State wants to do. But it should be worked out peaceably. So, therefore your suggestion is quite pertinent at this point.

I am sure this applys to Alaska and other States in the Union. We have zeroed in on the Pacific coast here. but the same problem occurs all over the east coast and the gulf and every place else.

All right. We thank you very much.
Mr. PARKER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The attachments referred to follow :)

March 25, 1975.
Secretary of Transportation,
Department of Transportation,
Washington, D.C.

DEAR SECRETARY COLEMAN: Congratulations on your appointment. Alaska has more interest than most states in transportation due to our geographic and climatological problems. I would also like to take this opportunity to present what may be our gravest problem as we foresee it at this time.

Alaska finds itself on the horns of a dilemma. Timely oil royalty payments will be required to keep the State's fiscal resources solvent. However, it appears that a definitive west coast oil port development program does not exist which is capable of receiving Alaskan oil resources. Given this constraint of inadequate facilities, it is curious to us why promised stringent construction requirements for the U.S. vessels carrying Alaskan crude are apparently being relaxed. It was only by the most adamant reassurances of the federal administration that vessel design would be of the highest quality to ensure the protection of the marine environment that the Alaska Pipeline Bill was ever allowed to pass Congress.

For Alaska to develop a sound economy we must not be put into the position of being totally reliant upon a particular mineral resource. Alaska must develop an economic base which is dependent upon our other natural resources as well. This State cannot be prepared to risk a large, rich coastal zone and its fisheries to an economic tradeoff in vessel construction for the U.S. with Alaska bearing the brunt of the attendant risks of catastrophe to other segments of our resources.

Development of Alaskan oil resources, in conjunction with outer continental shelf resources, is probably the only realistic approach at the present time to national self-sufficiency in fossil fuels. Alaska's stake in the development of fossil fuels is immense—but the stake of protecting and developing our other resources must not be overlooked or taken for granted.

In implementing pollution control in the ports and estuaries which are concerned with oil traffic in Alaska we will make every effort to assure that ade

« PreviousContinue »