March 26, 2014
Twenty-five years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, one state lawmaker is accusing ExxonMobil of not living up to its promise of restoring Prince William Sound in the disaster’s wake -- a claim the company contests.
A 2010 study commissioned by the state shows herring and some species of birds are among those animals that have not recovered from the 1989 spill.
ExxonMobil paid billions to make the state whole again after the crisis, and the energy giant says it's gone above and beyond the terms reached in its settlement -- but some say that is not enough.
Life along the sound still hasn’t returned to its former routine a quarter century after the March 24, 1989 spill – for neither residents nor animals.
"It bothers me if there are impacts that are caused to our oceans, to our ecosystems, our communities, that haven't been paid in full," said Michael Levine, the chief counsel for environmental group Oceana.
According to Levine, years of studies prove the area still hasn't recovered from the spill. Oceana, an international ocean conservation group, has been gathering data from scientists who worked on the aftermath of the spill.
“One of the important species that have not recovered is the herring in Prince William Sound, and those herring are the base of the food chain,” Levine said. “They are really important to the health and function of the ecosystem in Prince William Sound.”