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exxon valdez

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At four minutes past midnight, on March 24, 1989 the Exxon Valdez crashed into the Bligh Reef located in the northeastern part of the Prince William Sound. The ship was loaded with 1,264,155 barrels of oil. Approximately one-fifth of the cargo was spilt into the sea, which totaled to 11.2 million gallons. Due to strong northeastern winds the oil could not be contained, leaving the water into an emulsion that will not burn and is nearly impossible to remove from the surface. Oil continued to move southwest eventually reaching the Alaskan Peninsula. The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill of 1989 was a significant event, which heightened environmental awareness in both the business and private sectors of the United States.

The cause of the spill as determined by the National Transportation Safety Board was "the failure of the third mate to maneuver the ship due to fatigue; the failure of the master to provide proper navigation because of excessive alcohol and the failure of Exxon Corporation to provide a sufficient crew for the Exxon Valdez." The spill was the largest in United States history. It destroyed over seven hundred miles of beaches along the Alaskan coastline. This caused both state and federal governments to significantly change laws and regulations dealing with oil pollution and heightening environmental awareness. With human error and negligence as the primary causes of the oil spill, environmentalists and the public alike did not consider this an accident but a tr...
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