On November 28, 1995, President Clinton signed legislation (S.395, Public Law 104-58) that authorizes the exporting of Alaskan North Slope crude oil. The oil would be shipped in U.S. flag vessels through the Gulf of Alaska and along a route 200 miles offshore the Aleutian Islands to the Far East. Implementation of this law is subject to a Determination of National Interest, which considers potential effects to the environment and economy. An interagency group, including the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, and the U.S. Coast Guard, was formed to analyze such effects, one of which is oil spill risk. The Minerals Management Service's Oil-Spill Risk Analysis model was used to track and analyze simulated spills from two tanker routes: a proposed route offshore the Aleutian Islands, and the existing domestic tanker routes through the Gulf of Alaska and along the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California. The model results reflect the estimated risk to coastal areas over the various seasons from spills at large for up to 30 days’ travel time. The information generated was used to support planning for mitigation of potential risk and impacts.

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