1989 Oil Spill (Exxon Valdez)


-By Kaitlyn Ruffin

The Oil spill caused by the Exxon Valdez Tanker differed form other /earlier oil spills simply because of it's location, The Prince William sound. Since earlier spills had taken place in the middle of the ocean or farther from any coastal areas.Which lead to this one of the most publicized environmental disasters ever, knowing the strong feelings that the public may have of the news.The Exxon is still the third largest oil co. in the U.S. and the seventh in the world.
The Exxon Corporation,which is the company that was 'responsible" for the ship and crew, grew out of another oil company giant, Standard Oil Company, founded by John D. Rockefeller in 1970.
the video
- Who was responsible?
the Exxon company
Joseph Jeffrey Hazelwood, -the caption, Gregory Cousins -the third mate, and Helmsman Robert Kagan.

-Why was this oil spill important?
This spill was unique because of the public's reaction of anger and loss at the contamination and damage done to such a pure and picturesque place as the Prince William Sound. Due to their reaction to the spill and the responce to clean it since they were restrickted to only cleaning durning the summer since there is no sunlight what so ever during the long Alaskian winter.

-Where did it happen? Where is the ship now?
The Prince William sound near Alaska, a place, Which used to be a habit for many different animals. While on route from Valdez, Alaska to Los Angeles, California,which ran aground on Bligh Reef in Prince William sound, in the state of Alaska. The vessel was traveling outside normal shipping lanes in an attempt to avoid the polar ice caps. Since then ,The Exxon Valdez, has been renamed Oriental Nicety, which is still used to transport oil and is not allowed near The Prince William Sound

-When? when did they start the cleansing process?
on March 24th 1989 at 12:04am, the cleaning started over the summers of

-What happened?
10.9 mil of 53,094,510 gallons of oil ended up in the coastline of the pacific ocean, polluting the water, and killing many of the marine and non-aquatic life in the process as well. 8 out of 11 the tanks were also lost. The Exxon was fined $150 million, which is the largest fine so far to imposed for an environmental crime. The court forgave $125 million of that fine in recognition of Exxon's cooperation in cleaning up the spill and paying some private claims. Of the remaining $25 million, $12 million went to the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund and $13 million went to the national Victims of Crime Fund.

Well.. while the caption was under the influence so he then allowed a non-certified officer stir the ship. While they were steering, they ended up crashing and the cargo (mainly oil) was spilled when they attempted to avoid the ice.

-What was it's affect on American Society?
The images that the world, along with the American public, saw on television and descriptions they heard on the radio that spring were of heavily oiled shorelines, dead/ dying wildlife, and thousands of workers mobilized to clean up the beaches. These images in newspapers and on TV of the Prince William sound (beautiful before and ugly after the spill) reflected what many people felt was a severe environmental insult to a relatively pristine, ecologically important area that was home to many species of wildlife endangered elsewhere in the world. For example, the public's concern about the Valdez spill led t
o Congress’s passage of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. The law which gave the federal government additional powers to regulate the oil tanker industry. The act also contained provisions that called for ending the use of single-hulled tankers within U.S. waters.


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"Exxon Corporation." Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History. Ed. Thomas Carson and Mary Bonk. Detroit: Gale, 1999. Gale U.S. History In Context. Web. 29 May 2012.


Shenkman, Kenneth J. "Exxon Valdez oil spill." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2012. Web. 29 May 2012.<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/MbjC9SMKClE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>