Best Available Technology

The Alaska Legislature has directed in statute 46.04.030(e) that the oil discharge prevention and contingency plans required for specific types of facilities or operations, “must provide for the use by the applicant of the best technology that was available at the time the contingency plan was submitted or renewed. The department [DEC] shall identify the prevention and response technologies that are subject to a best available technology determination. The department may find that any technology meeting the response planning standards in (k) of this section or a prevention performance standard established under 46.04.070 is the best available technology. The department may prepare findings and maintain a list of those technologies that are considered best available.”

To meet this requirement, at each contingency plan review or renewal, DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) makes a BAT determination on certain plan components, as described in 18 AAC 75.425(e)(4). In addition, in 1997 regulations were implemented for a more general BAT review.

18 AAC 75.447 requires the department to review and appraise technologies that may be used to meet response planning standards, or performance standards by sponsoring a technology conference at least every five years. The BAT Conference is presented in cooperation with persons, organizations, and groups with interest and expertise in relevant technologies. The conference will provide interested parties with an opportunity to describe the status of existing technologies in use, as well as technologies that may be considered superior to those in use at that time. The department may also evaluate technologies by engaging in studies, inquiries, surveys, or analyses that warrant consideration.

Below are several documents generated for or by the work group which explain the planning process thus far, and also the proposed work to be completed by the contractor secured by DEC to complete the conference planning and facilitate the event.

Cook Inlet RCAC staff participated at the DEC-sponsored Best Available Technology conference held in Anchorage in 2004. Staff also attends demonstrations or testing of new oil spill response equipment whenever possible. Cook Inlet RCAC worked on the BAT steering committee that developed the format and identified six categories to present at the conference: Leak Detection for Crude Oil Transmission Pipelines, Secondary Containment Liners for Oil Storage Tanks, Fast Water Booming, Viscous Oil Pumping Systems, Well Capping and Source Control Technologies. The event featured 18 presentations, 17 exhibits, and 212 attendees – many from DEC – and focused on technologies which either meet a performance standard or a response planning standard.