August 5, 2019—Kenai—The U.S. Coast Guard has recertified the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council (CIRCAC) as meeting its responsibilities under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90). In so doing, the Coast Guard approved CIRCAC as the official citizens’ advisory group to oversee oil transportation and production in Cook Inlet, Alaska. The new recertification expires on August 31, 2020 and marks CIRCAC’s 28th consecutive year of being granted recertification without exception.
Coast Guard Commander of District 17, Rear Admiral Matthew Bell, Jr. notified CIRCAC of the recertification in a letter dated July 31, and said the 7.1 earthquake in Anchorage “served as a reminder that disasters or events can happen at any time and highlighted the importance of the planning and preparation that your organization oversees in promoting safety in Cook Inlet.”
OPA 90 requires CIRCAC to reapply for recertification on an annual basis. This year’s recertification fell under the streamlined inspection process which called for a reporting of substantive changes. Every three years, the Coast Guard conducts a more comprehensive review which includes a public comment period. The next triennual review will be conducted in 2020.
CIRCAC is a non-profit corporation organized exclusively for the oversight, monitoring, assessing and evaluation of oil spill prevention, safety and response plans, terminal and oil tanker operations, and environmental impacts of oil tanker and oil terminal operations in Cook Inlet under the provisions of Section 5002 of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA90). Our mission is to represent the citizens of Cook Inlet in promoting environmentally safe marine transportation and oil facility operations in Cook Inlet. CIRCAC consists of 13 members from Cook Inlet communities, as well as Alaska Native groups, commercial fishing and aquaculture, tourism, recreational and environmental interest groups that have a significant stake in the environment and resources at risk from oil production and transportation in the region.
For more information on recertification, visit: https://www.circac.org/who-we-are/recertification/