Since the remaining money from the Exon Valdez settlement account is shrinking, the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council is working to determine how to best spend what’s left of the restoration funds. In order to better manage what’s left of the funds, the council proposes to narrow the scope of restoration efforts to five specific categories. The proposed categories include: herring, lingering oil, long-term monitoring of marine conditions, harbor protection and marine conditions and habitat acquisition and protection.
In order to make these adjustments to the original restoration plan, an environmental impact statement must be prepared that will assess the affects of the council’s proposal.
As part of the process, the EVOS Trustee Council is conducting community meetings in areas affected by the 1989 spill. A Kodiak meeting will take place next Thursday, March 18th at the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center.
The purpose of the meetings is to accept public comment on the proposed changes to the 1994 restoration plan. Comments can also be submitted by mail, e-mail or through phone messages. The deadline for submitting comments on the proposed changes is April 1st.
The executive director of the EVOS Trustee Council is Elise Hsieh. She’s also encouraging potential participants to get familiar with the council’s plans.
— (EVOS 1 :40 "I think it … compelled to give.")
The remaining restoration funds total around 100 million dollars, with approximately 24 million of that amount allotted by federal legislation to habitat acquisition and protection. About 76 million dollars remains available for research, monitoring and general restoration.
Of the approximately 780 million dollars of the council’s joint trust funds, over 180 million dollars has been used for research, monitoring and general restoration. Over 375 million dollars has funded habitat protection. The council’s program development, implementation and administration have cost over 45 million dollars.
The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council was formed in 1992 and is funded by settlement of civil claims brought against Exxon by the State of Alaska and the United States.