Obituary: John Devens, mayorat center of oil spill

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John Devens, 74, whose tenure as the mayor of an obscure coastal town in Alaska was rocked by a stunning disaster on its shores — the wreck of the Exxon Valdez oil tanker in Prince William Sound — died June 13 at his home in Copper Center, Alaska.

Mr. Devens had been the mayor of Valdez, a city of about 4,000 people, for about five years when the Exxon Valdez ran aground on March 24, 1989, releasing nearly 11 million gallons of crude oil into the sound, one of the nation’s most pristine fisheries. It was the worst oil spill in American history at the time.

 


First Published July 10, 2014 12:00 AM

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