NOAA releases Alaska oil spill risk report, Southeast and Aleutians most at risk
NOAA assessed the risk for oil spills in Alaska currently and all the way to 2025.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a report that analyzed Alaska’s oil spill risks.
“It basically develops a picture of oil spill risk based on environmental sensitivity, past oil spill data and potential oil spill size scenarios.”
This is Jason Lehto, ecologist at NOAA.
“We also looked at what the potential risk is for current day and made a prediction based on assumptions out to 2025.”
The Alaska Oil Spill Risk Analysis is supposed to work as a screening tool for fuel spill response planning. It examined a number of possible scenarios including high probability-low consequence incidents which involve less than one barrel of oil all the way to a major spill incident.
Lehto says based on research on vessel traffic and oil production predictions there are certain parts of Alaska that could be greatly affected by an oil spill were one to happen right now.
“Southeast Alaska, the Aleutian Islands, Kodiak Island and Cook Inlet.”
However, if an oil spill were to occur in 2025…
“Again, Southeast Alaska came out higher, the Aleutian Islands came out higher as well as the Beaufort Sea.”
NOAA determines the risk severity when looking at the probability of an oil spill compared to the consequences that would ensue.