US Coast Guard approves recertification

The U.S. Coast Guard has approved Cook Inlet RCAC’s annual recertification, allowing the organization to continue its mission of representing the citizens of Cook Inlet in promoting safe marine transportation and oil facility operations in the Inlet. The council learned of the recertification by letter dated August 12, from Rear Admiral Thomas Ostebo, Commander, Seventeenth Coast Guard District. The recertification is effective through August 31, 2014. [Click here to read the letter]

“Recertification represents recognition of our continued effectiveness in protecting Cook Inlet waters and promoting safer navigation through work on our federal mandates and myriad of ongoing projects,” said Executive Director Michael Munger.

Most notably, the council continues to build partnerships with stakeholders to initiate and develop projects, such as Alaska ShoreZone and the Cook Inlet Response Tool; review oil discharge prevention and contingency plans; expand the ice forecasting camera network; conduct biological and chemical monitoring and physical oceanography activities; and public education. The council is also entering into the last phase of completing Cook Inlet’s first comprehensive navigational risk assessment.

Cook Inlet RCAC is a nonprofit 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. The council consists of 13 members representing boroughs, cities, and municipalities, as well as Alaska Native, commercial fishing, aquaculture, tourism, recreation and environmental groups in the Cook Inlet Region.

By law, Cook Inlet RCAC must re-certify every year with the U.S. Coast Guard to insure that it is meeting the mandates spelled out in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and representing the interests of the communities within the vicinity of oil terminal operations.