A visiting news crew from the NBC33/Fox News station in Baton Rouge, LA recently paid a visit to PWSCC instructor, Dr. Robert Benda. Says Benda, “They were interested in talking about comparisons between the EXXON Valdez spill and the Louisiana spill. They wanted to know what I did during the EXXON Valdez spill, how the oil industry responses compared, how oil impacted the shorelines, and did I think they could have stopped the oil from reaching the shoreline there. I told them I was at the AMOP oil spill conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia and participants there said having an oil spill from that depth was entirely different from a surface spill like the EXXON Valdez spill. I told them I didn’t think they could have prevented the oil from reaching the shoreline as nobody was sure where the oil was going. I told him the old adage is ‘When the oil reaches the shoreline you’ve lost control of the spill.’ That’s what was said during the EXXON Valdez spill and applies to any spill.”
The PWSCC Training Department now offers an Undergraduate Certificate and Associate of Applied Science Degree in Industrial Technology with a concentration in Oil Spill Response.
While in town, the reporters also visited the Valdez Museum & Historical Archive to check out their exhibit on the Exxon Valdez Spill, which is slated to be largely improved and revamped in time for the 2011 tourist season, according to Curator, Andrew Goldstein.
So, clearly, Valdez and the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill are still fresh in the minds of the public and thankfully, are being considered valuable in order to learn from past mistakes and develop successful strategies for future incidents.