The nation's largest oil tanker, the Exxon Valdez, was carrying more than 1.2 million barrels of crude oil when a spill took place in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The tanker captain stepped away from the helm, leaving an uncertified third mate to man the ship. The captain was later dismissed because he had high levels of blood alcohol, but
never served any jail time. The spill covered nearly 40 miles while Exxon waited two to three days after the accident to take action to contain the disaster.