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  In the Wake of the Exxon Valdez

Exxon Valdex Spill
Workers in oil splattered raingear use pom-poms to clean beach on LaTouche Island. (1989 Photo courtesy of OSPIC)
On March 24, 1989, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez hit an underwater rock formation in Prince William Sound, Alaska. 11 million gallons of heavy crude oil spilled from the tanker over the next several days. It was one of the most spectacular environmental accidents in American history.

Ten years later, Prince William Sound is beautiful again. Scientists associated with Exxon say all traces of the spill are gone.
LaTouche Island 1999
A more recent photo of LaTouche Island.
That's an an assertion that infuriates many who live near the sound. They say they oil did serious long-term damage, environmentally and culturally. they also say it's still possible to find traces of this oil spill near rocky beaches on the Sound.

NPR Environment Correspondent John Nielsen and NPR Senior Producer Peter Breslow recently traveled to Prince William Sound, returning with a series of stories about oil and Alaska. audio button Listen to "Legacies of the Spill", which aired on Saturday, March 6, 1999, on Weekend Edition with Scott Simon.

audio buttonListen to the second story in John Nielsen's series. It aired on Thursday, March 11, 1999, on All Things Considered.

The aging trans-Alaska oil pipeline has been moving crude from the north slope of Alaska to a port hundreds of miles south in Valdez for almost 22 years. Oil industry experts say with proper maintenance, the pipeline could function well into the next centuryaudio button but many environmentalists want more assurances that the pipeline is safe. Hear more as NPR's John Nielsen reports for Morning Edition.

NPR's Elizabeth Arnold reports from Seattle, where oil industry experts from the private and public sectors are gathering ten years after the Exxon-Valdez oil spill. Participants are discussing the progress that's audio button been made, and problems that remain, in preventing and cleaning up after oil spills. Listen to the story, which aired on Thursday, March 11, 1999 on Morning Edition.

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. Copyright © 1999 National Public Radio