The danger of a future Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaskas Prince William Sound has declined substantially since the State of Alaska, environmentalists, oil companies, and the fishing industry brought together a risk management team, according to a study in a journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®).
Measures taken before the formation of the risk management team had brought down the risk by 75%. Actions taken based on the late 1990s risk assessment report reduced the risk by an additional 68%, with a 51% reduction in the expected oil outflow. Cumulatively, the risk is down 92%. Hopefully the benefit, say the authors of the $2 million study, is the prevention of another environmental disaster like the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, whose bill was a $2.2 billion cleanup and environmental ruin.
The paper entitled "The Prince William Sound Risk Assessment" is by Jason R.W. Merrick, Virginia Commonwealth University; J. René van Dorp, Thomas Mazzuchi, John R. Harrald, John E. Spahn, The George Washington University; and Martha Grabowski, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. It appears in the current issue of the journal Interfaces: An International Journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. A summary of the study can be found online http://www.informs.org/Press/ExxonValdezabstract.pdf.
The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®) is an international scientific society with 10,000 members, including Nobel Prize laureates, dedicated to applying scientific methods to help improve decision-making, management, and operations. Members of INFORMS work in business, government, and academia. They are represented in fields as diverse as airlines, health care, law enforcement, the military, the stock market, and telecommunications. The INFORMS website is at http://www.informs.org.
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