Alyeska Pipeline Service Company has aimed for zero oil spillage in the design of the Alyeska pipeline system. The extent of the technical studies and efforts to minimize environmental impact are unprecedented in the annals of pipeline design. Examples include special design and construction techniques in areas of permafrost, burial, and river crossings, and special designs to withstand earthquake effects and fault movements. In addition, all essential data related to leak detection will be monitored. Alyeska will also conduct regular aerial and ground patrols of the pipeline route. At the marine terminal at Port Valdez, Alyeska has identified sources of potential oil spills and has incorporated in the terminal's design facilities for reducing the probability of a spill and minimizing the effects of spillage should it occur.
In view of the above considerations, the probability of a major oil spill seems remote. However, Alyeska recognizes the need to respond rapidly and effectively to a spill.
Comprehensive oil-spill contengency plans are being prepared to ensure that immediate steps are taken to protect the environment, to contain and clean up any spill, and to restore any affected areas. These are probably the most thorough and comprehensive plans of this nature yet developed. If a spill occurs on land or water, these plans assign immediate what-to-do and how-to-do-it actions to designated individuals.