Do you need money for college or career training? CIRCAC is accepting applications for the 2017 CIRCAC Memorial Scholarships. For the third year, CIRCAC is awarding two $2,500 scholarships to support Cook Inlet students and honor the memory of former CIRCAC volunteer Captain Barry Eldridge and past Executive Director James Carter.
The CIRCAC Board of Directors held their final meeting for 2016 on December 1 & 2, in Anchorage. In addition to staff reports and an update on the Port of Anchorage modernization project, the Board welcomed Kyle Crow to the Board to fill the seat vacated by Scott Smiley for the Kodiak Island Borough; and amended its governing documents to expand Tourism Group membership (see following story). The Board also discussed in detail the November Tyonek Platform diesel spill with representatives from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) and Hilcorp Alaska.
(L to R) Molly McCammon, Robert Peterkin, II, Vice President; Executive Director Mike Munger and
John Williams, President at the December Board Meeting.
According to Hilcorp Alaska's initial calculations, 65000 gallons of diesel leaked into one of the Tyonek Platform's legs. To recover the product, the diesel mixture was pumped into portable tanks and transferred by marine vessel to the Monopod Platform (located in Trading Bay) for processing. Hilcorp did not observe any sheen or see any other evidence that the diesel had leaked into Cook Inlet; however, it had been determined that the fluids inside the leg are affected by tidal activity. Among CIRCAC's concerns regarding this incident were the actions taken, or rather not taken, by ADEC as the State's primary oil spill response agency. CIRCAC is critical of ADEC's decisions to 1) not notify CIRCAC of the incident according to long standing protocol; and 2) to not respond to the spill. Staff is preparing recommendations from the Council and working with ADEC to address these and other concerns, including our lack of confidence in ADEC's ability to respond to a future spill in Cook Inlet.
CIRCAC extends membership to Tourism Groups
The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 mandates that the State Chamber of Commerce represent the interests of tourism on our Board of Directors. But as CIRCAC has evolved, so has Alaska's tourism industry which has grown extensively since 1990. As a citizen representative, CIRCAC strives to be as inclusive as possible of the many interests in our areas of concern. We have routinely received inquiries from tourism groups asking to be represented on the Council and have identified at least 22 such groups that are not being fully represented under our original organization. To expand our representation, the Council amended our governing documents to expand our membership to include multiple tourism organizations. In broadening our scope, the State Chamber will continue to have a voice in the selection of the Tourism Interest Group's representative to the Board. We invite Cook Inlet and Kodiak area tourism industry groups to join us as members as we work together to protect Cook Inlet's environment, fisheries, economic vitality, cultural resources and recreational interests. Click here for an application or call Jerry Rombach at 907.283.7222 for more information.