1. How are the two disasters different?
AN OIL SPILL in Prince William Sound? Never. It will never happen. The channel is very wide and very deep. There are no navigational hazards.’ So the public were led to believe. Unfortunately, on Friday, March 24, four minutes after midnight, the Exxon Valdez, a supertanker carrying 53 million gallons [200 million L] of crude oil, strayed a mile and a half [2 km] off course, ground its bottom over the jagged rocks of Bligh Reef, and ripped gaping holes in its hull. Over 11 million gallons [42 million L] of crude oil gushed out into the pristine waters of scenic Prince William Sound, just below Valdez, Alaska.
When the catastrophe happened, an unlicensed third mate was in command, and the Coast Guard supposed to monitor with radar the course of the Exxon Valdez couldn’t. And when the spill did happen, both the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company and the Exxon Corporation were unable to fulfill their contingency plan for controlling oil spills.
Obviously, the Exxon Valdez oil spill was considered to be much of an accident that has been based on being unprepared because of over confidence on the facilities that the business particularly operated with. However, as it already happened, the situation had been taken good care of the corporation itself.
Meanwhile, the Bhopal oil spill in India existed in a different focus of the situation. It was more of a careless manner of dealing with the risks of the operations of the oil storage as the business shares began to be passed on to others from its original handlers. The danger of the plant has not been much focused upon although expected. Certainly, this is the reason why the cleaning up process for the said spill had been immediately dealt with to avoid pinpointing on who among the shareholders of the company needed to take the blame for what has happened.
2. Who were the stakeholders in each incident?
In the Exxon oil spill, it is clear that the major stakeholders were the business owners. It was primarily their loss since their stocks on oil went out to nothing. While on the other hand, the Bhopal incident was much of a huge effect on the different shareholders of the business.
Altogether though, such incidents on oil spill as per mentioned through reports had placed so much danger on the marine resources that were living within the vicinity of the said plantations as well as to the health of the people living within the area. It was not only that, the money that the government of the countries involved to help in the cleaning up process could be considered as one particular loss that included the local governments as primary stakeholders of the situations.
One particular report of this truth is as follows: After the tragic 1989 oil spill from the Exxon Valdez, the company provided $18.3 million to capture and treat 357 otters affected by the oil. Despite extensive efforts to save them, over a third died. Of the 225 surviving otters, the majority was returned to their natural habitat, and the others were placed in aquariums. “Marine biologists have calculated that it cost $51,260 to treat each sea otter rescued,” says a New York Times report, “but scientists believe that knowledge gained from the project will help to save future victims of similar accidents.” An important finding was that crude oil is much more toxic to the animals than had generally been believed. It was noted that the project was “primarily a humane effort,” as sea otters are not an endangered species and “substantial numbers of the animals in the sound escaped lethal oiling.” Exxon officials were said to acknowledge that “dying, oil-soaked otters were particularly damaging to the corporate image.”
Certainly, such incidents do not only jeopardize the financial assets of the business owners but also the environmental and health concerns of the people living within the community were the said oil spills happened.
3. What should have been done to prevent these disasters?
Considerably, more than just being prepared for whatever may happen for those handling oil plantations, it is very important for governments to provide the most accurate systems to track vessels that are carrying oil products. These systems are supposed to have a more indicative approach in knowing the routes of oil deliveries and their schedule of travel. This shall help the government have knowledge on how the said vessels shall be tracked. Along with this, it is very important too that inspection of oil plants be done regularly for safety precautions. Immediate emergency operations for possible oil spills should also be made possible.