The oil industry was well aware of the health hazards of inhalation of various fractions of crude oil and its refined products before the [Exxon Valdez] spill. Corrections? Visit our corporate site. Largely in response to the Exxon Valdez spill, the Oil Pollution Act became law in 1990. Exxon had developed an extensive library on health effects from inhalation of oil vapors, mists, and aerosol — and proper protection for company employees. Oil from the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill trapped between rocks on a beach in the Gulf of Alaska, more than 20 years after the spill. The documents themselves can be downloaded from this page. Despite these cleanup efforts, the spill exterminated much native wildlife, including salmon, herring, sea otters, bald eagles, and killer whales. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Sea otter populations have finally bounced back to pre-spill levels, the U.S. Geological Survey announced only this year. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/event/Exxon-Valdez-oil-spill, American Oil and Gas Historical Society - Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Receive news and offers from our other brands? Cleanup workers often combine this technique with other methods like containing and collecting oil so that it doesn't disperse elsewhere. Superbug may be spreading in hospitals overrun with COVID-19. The disaster was the worst oil spill in U.S. history until the Deepwater Horizon spill surpassed it in terms of volume in 2011. Three hours later, just after midnight on March 24th, the Exxon Valdez ran into Bligh Reef, spilling 10.8 million gallons of oil … The Exxon Valdez oil spill was one of the most publicized and studied environmental tragedies in history. The herring population — once a lucrative catch for the fishing industry in the region — crashed and has never fully recovered, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Exxon Valdez oil spill, massive oil spill that occurred on March 24, 1989, in Prince William Sound, an inlet in the Gulf of Alaska, Alaska, U.S. An estimated 250,000 seabirds, 2,800 sea otters and 300 harbor seals were killed in the immediate aftermath, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This type of aggressive washing works, but it can kill plants and animals in the long term and short term, officials confirmed after the Exxon Valdez spill, according to NOAA. . Recommissioned the Exxon Mediterranean, it worked the Mediterranean Sea until single-hulled vessels were banned from European waters. Lingering OilIs there still oil from the Exxon Valdez on the beaches of the spill area? Status of Injured ResourcesHow are the injured resources and species doing now? Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. SettlementLearn about the settlement reached between the governments and Exxon, Inc. Live Science is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Thousands of workers and volunteers helped to clean up after the oil spill, and Exxon provided $2.1 billion in funding. Workers cleaning rocks coated in oil from the Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker than ran aground (1989) in Prince William Sound, Alaska, U.S. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Read about how the money was allocated and view a detailed spending plan. Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+. This site provides both general and highly specific information about the spill and its aftermath, organized in the following way: Q and A A list of commonly asked questions and their answers. Photos of oiled seabirds and otters have become spill clichés but animals were indeed hurt by the Exxon Valdez disaster. The Valdez spill is the second largest in US waters, after the 2010 © The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, March 24, 1989, when Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker owned by Exxon Shipping Company, bound for Long Beach, California, struck Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef, 1.5 mi west of Tatitlek, Alaska, at 12:04 a.m. and spilled 10.8 million US gallons of crude oil over the next few days. Restoring the resources injured by the Exxon Valdez oil spill and understanding environmental change in the Northern Gulf of Alaska. After the oil spill the tanker was fixed and reused under several names including the SeaRiver Mediterranean, Dong … Stay up to date on the coronavirus outbreak by signing up to our newsletter today. It contaminated 1,300 miles of coastline with 250,000 barrels or 11 million gallons of oil. Four months after it ran aground on Alaska's Bligh Reef, the ship was returned to a dry dock in San Diego, Calif. Monday (March 24) marks the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, which spewed 11 million gallons (40 million liters) of crude oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound. Receive mail from us on behalf of our trusted partners or sponsors? Oil Spill Facts; Oil Spill Facts. A Study of History: Who, What, Where, and When? Instead it endured several name changes and makeovers. Do camels really have water in their humps? As Exxon Valdez's legacy lives on and some of its environmental impacts still linger, Live Science brings you five facts about the historic spill: [See Photos of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill]. Announcing our NEW encyclopedia for Kids! Contact Information for the private plaintiff action, Trustee Council 2020 DRAFT Resolutions for Public Comment, Draft Resolution 20-D: Background and Supplemental Information, Proposals for Alternative Structures to EVOSTC, Financial Procedures and Investment Policies, Alaska Resources Library and Information Services (ARLIS), Where to find additional EVOS documents and items, Long-Term Monitoring Program (Gulf Watch Alaska). More than two decades after the spill, oil pockets are still found below the surface of beaches, often in places protected from winds and waves, which would help to break down and remove remaining crude. The oil had spilled from the tanker. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Workers steaming blast rocks covered in crude oil leaking from the. Spill MapSee a map of the area affected by the spill and when oil arrived at various locations in the spill region. The Exxon Valdez itself was repaired and returned to service but was legally prohibited by a clause in the Oil Pollution Act from ever reentering Prince William Sound. The incident happened after an Exxon Corporation tanker, the Exxon Valdez, ran aground on Bligh Reef during a voyage from Valdez, Alaska, to California. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Facts exxon valdez Dong Fang Ocean, formerly Exxon Valdez, Exxon Mediterranean, SeaRiver Mediterranean, S/R Mediterranean, and Mediterranean, is an oil tanker that gained notoriety after running aground in Prince William Sound spilling hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil in Alaska. environmental disaster, Prince William Sound, Alaska, United States . Restoration PlanSo what did the governments do with the money from Exxon? Two groups of killer whales that swam through the affected parts of the Prince William Sound suffered population losses up to 41 percent in the year after the disaster, according to a 2008 study published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series. Crews using water from high-pressure hoses to clean oil off rocks on a beach, Naked Island, Alaska, April 21, 1989. There was a problem. The Exxon Valdez, first launched in 1986, was a mammoth oil tanker that stretched 987 feet (300 meters) in length. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) eventually assigned most of the blame for the oil spill to Exxon, citing its incompetent and overworked crew. It also created the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to help pay for the cleanup of future disasters, granting up to $1 billion per spill. . Along the Shelikof Strait coastline southwest of the spill site, researchers recently found pockets of oil from the Exxon Valdez accident. See what researchers have discovered. . Details about the AccidentView a detailed excerpt published by the State of Alaska documenting exactly what went wrong. As Exxon Valdez's legacy lives on and some of its environmental impacts still linger, Live Science brings you five facts about the historic spill: [See Photos of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill] 1. Follow Megan Gannon on Twitter and Google+. The Exxon Valdez oil spill was one of the most publicized and studied environmental tragedies in history. NY 10036. It was the worst oil spill in U.S. history until the 2011 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Nearly 11,000,000 gallons of crude oil were dispersed when the Exxon Valdez ran aground, polluting 1,300 miles of Alaskan shoreline and causing the extermination of much native wildlife. These were compiled by Alaska Resources Library and Information Services (ARLIS). Spill-Area and Subsistence Resources: How are they impacted by lingering oil. This is the best place to start research about the Exxon Valdez oil spill. New York, The spill eventually polluted 1,300 miles (2,092 kilometres) of indented shoreline, as well as adjacent waters, as far south as the southern end of Shelikof Strait between Kodiak Island and the Alaska Peninsula. Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens emerged as a strong proponent of securing federal funds to pay for the damage. You will receive a verification email shortly. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Facts The tanker was headed for Long Beach, California. Interesting Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Facts: Human error, caused by lack of sleep is one of the causes of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Spill Prevention and ResponseFind out what has been done to ensure that another Exxon Valdez oil spill can never happen again. Thank you for signing up to Live Science. Each species or resource has a detailed page about its current status. The Exxon Valdez tanker ran aground on Bligh Reef in Alaska on March 24, 1989, releasing nearly 11 million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, Original article on Live Science. This site provides both general and highly specific information about the spill and its aftermath, organized in the following way: Q and AA list of commonly asked questions and their answers. Some small areas of the Prince William Sound were intentionally not cleaned because the oil spill offered environmental officials a chance to study cleanup measures, comparing how untreated areas fared against regions cleaned with high-pressure, hot water washing hoses. Omissions? In 2008 it was converted by a Hong Kong company to an ore carrier, and in 2012, under the name Oriental Nicety, it was sold for scrapping in Alang, India. After evidence suggested that Joseph J. Hazelwood, the ship’s captain, had been drinking before the accident, Exxon terminated his employment. Spill PhotosView our gallery of free public access photos of the oil spill and the cleanup effort. It is considered the worst oil spill worldwide in terms of damage to the environment. BibliographiesDownload topical bibliographies of publications that have been written about the Exxon Valdez oil spill. In 1990 the U.S. Congress passed the Oil Pollution Act in direct response to the Exxon Valdez accident. The move required oil companies to make contingency plans to prevent future spills and contain them should a spill occur. Today, it's still possible to dig holes in beaches along the Prince William Sound and find pockets of oil left over from 1989. The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred when an oil tanker crashed onto the shore of Prince William Sound in Alaska on March 24, 1989. 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