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Contrasting views on the Drift River Oil Terminal 2 October 2009

Posted by admin in Alaska, eruptions, natural hazards, Redoubt.
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Lahars near Drift River Oil Terminal, 4 April 2009 (NASA EO-1 image).

Two contrasting views of the Drift River Oil Terminal saga have been published in the Homer Tribune. Michael Munger of the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council presents a positive view: ‘In the recent situation with Mount Redoubt and the Drift River Oil Terminal, the unified command worked exactly the way it was intended, resulting in a successful response to the volcanic mudflow threatening the facility. As a result, no people were injured and no oil was spilled’. In the other corner, Bob Shavelson of environmental organization Cook Inletkeeper: ‘The fact remains that the Drift River Oil Terminal incident stands out as the most significant breakdown in spill prevention and response in Alaska since the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. That breakdown put our fishermen, workers and countless families and businesses around Cook Inlet at extreme risk’.

The central point is that the Drift River Oil Terminal should not be where it is. If it was not in a dangerous location in the first place none of the impressive hazard management Michael Munger talks about would be necessary.

[Image of the Drift River Oil Terminal and lahars from Mount Redoubt: NASA Earth Observatory, 9 April 2009, originally posted here; see also Drift River Oil Terminal vs. the volcano.]

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