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Arctic Nations Gather to Develop Instrument for Oil Pollution Prevention and Response

March 22, 2012, Girdwood, AK – The eight nations of the Arctic Council met last week at the Alyeska Resort to develop an international instrument on Arctic marine oil pollution preparedness and response. 

Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell welcomed the Arctic Council Task Force Wednesday evening, including U.S. co-chair Ambassador David Balton and Rear Admiral Cari Thomas, head of the U.S. Delegation, along with representatives from Norway, Russia, Canada, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland.

In his welcome, Treadwell underscored the importance of the work being done by the Task Force.

“An accident from drilling or shipping in any part of the Arctic could affect us all – our environment, our fuel supply, our economic opportunity,” Treadwell said.  “We must say it loud and clear: it is time to make sure that shippers of the Arctic will take the appropriate precautions to be prepared in the case of an accident.”

Treadwell is Alaska’s liaison to the federal government on Arctic Council activities and a longtime participant in U.S. work on international Arctic cooperation.

The Arctic Council Task Force for Arctic Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response was created by the Nuuk Declaration of 12 May 2011 at the Arctic Council Ministerial.  This is the third meeting of the Task Force; delegates met previously in Oslo and St. Petersburg.  The Alaska meeting was coordinated by the U.S. Coast Guard District 17 and the Institute of the North, and hosted by numerous NGOs, businesses and corporations.

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