Exxon Valdez Oil Disaster Summary

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For this discussion I chose the article by Kurtz relating to the treatment of the Exxon Valdez oil disaster (2003). From the introduction, the NPS is painted to be born of noble blood. Surrounded by myth, folklore and a shield of integrity, the NPS was created to preserve the beauty of the national parks so that they may be enjoyed for generations. At issue is the decision by assumption of leadership by the NPS and the decisions made within with respect to containing the spill in an attempt to protect the delicate habitats within the sound, and to prevent the spread to the Gulf of Alaska. In assuming this role, the NPS is faced with many ethical issues. At stake was not only the park reserves that they had been created to protect, but the…show more content…
The decision makers in the case of the Exxon Valdez cleanup made decisions out of their ‘green-blood’ or commitment to the mission and values of the NPS (Kurtz, 2003). Decisions were made without hesitation, guided by the mandate set forth in the 1916 ‘organic act’, placing conservation of the parks and wildlife above all else (2003). The NPS created a system of internal oversight, and often failed to communicate with the Coast Guard. I think this was more a result of an overwhelmed parks service rather than a willful lack of…show more content…
The park rangers and the NPS are held to a strict code, borne of myth and legend. A job with the National Parks Service seems to come with the signet of supreme protector. Decision makers drew upon existing experience in handling the crisis at hand. Experts in the area of crisis management when it comes to fires or natural disaster, the NPS’ decisions came from the instinct of this type of crisis management. Since the disaster, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of the Interior, and the the Department of Agriculture in conjunction with the Alaska DNR and the Alaska Inter-Tribal Council have adopted the guidelines within the ‘Alaska Implementation Guidelines for Federal On-Scene Coordinators’ as uniform guidelines for environmental disaster(Alaska Department of Natural Resources, et.al,

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