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Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
In response to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, an executive order was issued by the governor of Alaska mandating every laden tanker be escorted by two tugs through Prince William Sound to Hinchinbrook Entrance. The order also called for Alyeska to revise the oil spill contingency plan for Prince William Sound.
As the plan evolved, SERVS became the cornerstone of oil spill prevention and response in the Sound. Every year since 1989, Alyeska has added materials, equipment and personnel dedicated solely to oil spill prevention and response in the Sound. More than 250 men and women are employed by SERVS at its base in Valdez and the Marine Terminal.
The mission of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company's Ship Escort/Response Vessel System (SERVS) is to prevent oil spills by assisting tankers in safe navigation through Prince William Sound, and to protect the environment by providing effective response services to the Valdez Marine Terminal and Alaska crude oil shippers, in accordance with oil spill response agreements and plans.
SERVS is considered to be one of the best oil spill prevention and response forces in the world. With input from the Regional Citizens Advisory Council (RCAC), the State of Alaska and the U. S. Coast Guard, SERVS has grown steadily over the last five years to meet the requirements of the Prince William Sound Tanker Spill Prevention and Response Plan, which has been amended to accommodate new state and congressional oil spill legislation.