Oil Pollution Risk Assessment

Marine Technology Reporter
Friday, September 27, 2013

NOAA ID’s Lurking Enviro Threats

A new NOAA report that examines national oil pollution threat from shipwrecks has been presented to the U.S. Coast Guard. With as many as 20,000 recorded shipwrecks in NOAA’s database, the May 2013 report finds that just 36 sunken vessels scattered across the U.S. seafloor could pose an oil pollution threat to the nation’s coastal marine resources. Of those, 17 were recommended for further assessment and potential removal of both fuel oil and oil cargo. Based on vessel contents, condition, environmental sensitivity and other factors, NOAA has determined that six vessels are high priority for a Most Probable (10%) discharge, and 36 are high priority for a Worst Case Discharge (Table ES-1).
NOAA’s Remediation of Underwater Legacy Environmental Threats (RULET) project identifies the location and nature of potential sources of oil pollution. Knowing where these vessels are helps oil response planning efforts and may help in the investigation of mystery spills - sightings of oil where a source is not immediately known. In 2010, Congress appropriated $1 million for NOAA to develop a list of the most significant potentially polluting wrecks in U.S. waters, specifically addressing ecological and socioeconomic resources at risk. Those funds were not intended for oil or vessel removal. NOAA maintains the internal Resources and UnderSea Threats (RUST) database of as many as 30,000 sites of sunken material. Initial screening of these shipwrecks revealed 573 that could pose substantial pollution risks.

Based on the NOAA report, there is plenty of business out there – literally lurking just under the surface. 
http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/protect/ppw/pdfs/2013_potentiallypollutingwrecks.pdf

(As published in the September 2013 edition of Marine Technologies - www.seadiscovery.com)

This includes vessels built after 1891, when U.S. vessels began using fuel oil; vessels over 1,000 gross tons and built of steel, and tank vessels. Additional research narrowed that number to 107.
To prioritize and determine which vessels are candidates for further evaluation, NOAA used a series of risk factors to assess the likelihood of oil remaining onboard, and the potential environmental impact if that oil spills. NOAA used risk factors to assess physical integrity and pollution potential as well as other factors that may impact potential removal operations. Risk factors included total oil volume on board; oil type; if the wreck was reported to have been cleared as a hazard to navigation or demolished; if significant amount of oil was lost during the casualty, and the nature of the casualty that would reduce the amount of oil onboard. Factors impacting operations were wreck orientation on seafloor, depth, visual or remote sensing confirmation of conditions; other hazardous materials onboard, if munitions were onboard, and if the wreck is of historic significance and will require special handling. Each factor was also assigned a data quality rating. At the end of the evaluation, each vessel was given an overall vessel risk score of High, Medium, or Low. After this third level of screening, 87 wrecks remained on the priority list.
Oil discharges from shipwrecks are typically in the “Most Probable” category or smaller. Funding for any assessment or recovery operations determined to be necessary is dependent on unique circumstances for the wreck. If a wreck still has an identifiable owner, that owner is responsible for the cost of cleanup. If no responsible party exists, the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund would likely be accessed. Selecting any vessel for proactive response requires further analysis including spill trajectory studies and monitoring or oil removal feasibility studies. While the salvage industry and oil spill response organizations have demonstrated great advancements in underwater oil removal technologies, in many cases the best alternative may not be removal of oil, but rather to monitor the wreck and plan for potential spills. The cost of removing oil from a wreck varies widely, depending on conditions and as depicted in Table 4-4 (on page 12)

(As published in the September 2013 edition of Marine Technologies - www.seadiscovery.com).

Maritime Reporter April 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Tanker Trends

APM Maasvlakte II Terminal Opens

APM Terminals Maasvlakte II held a ceremony  to celebrate the opening of the world’s most automated container terminal.   The  event that was attended by Dutch

MISC Says AET Tankers Unit Not for Sale

MISC Berhad issued a statement today addressing recent market speculation that the company is set to sell its wholly owned petroleum tanker subsidiary AET Tankers.

Strong Tanker Market Extends Peak Season High Earnings

Tanker earnings for crude oil tankers have climbed to new strong levels in the first quarter of 2015, with averages not seen since 2008, the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) reported.

Environmental

IMO Calls for Environmentally Sound Ship Recycling in Bangladesh

The  International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh are jointly implementing a project entitled “Safe and

BIMCO Welcomes EU Decision on Migrants

BIMCO has stated today that it appreciates the new efforts by EU leaders to reduce increasing reliance on merchant shipping to rescue the growing numbers of

Long Beach, Los Angeles ports host forum to gather input

More than 100 cargo owners, trucking firm leaders, longshore labor, marine terminals and other goods movement industry representatives turned out Wednesday for

Salvage

Two Rescued from Sinking Shrimp Boat

Two fishermen were rescued from their sinking shrimp boat by a U.S. Coast Guard aircrew Friday off the coast of Saint Simons Island near Brunswic, Georgia.   Watchstanders

Maritime Casualty Forum Held in Singapore

More than 250 shipping and insurance professionals gathered for the first ever Asian Maritime Casualty Forum held during Singapore Maritime Week.   The two-day conference,

Fifty Mali Migrants Among Hundred Drowned in Med

At least 50 Malians from the impoverished region of Kayes were among up to 900 migrants who drowned trying to cross from Libya to Europe this weekend, the government said on Friday.

Coast Guard

BIMCO Welcomes EU Decision on Migrants

BIMCO has stated today that it appreciates the new efforts by EU leaders to reduce increasing reliance on merchant shipping to rescue the growing numbers of

Two Rescued from Sinking Shrimp Boat

Two fishermen were rescued from their sinking shrimp boat by a U.S. Coast Guard aircrew Friday off the coast of Saint Simons Island near Brunswic, Georgia.   Watchstanders

Grounding Kills 1, Injures 2 in Charleston Harbor

One person was killed and two people were injured when a boat ran aground on Shutes Folly off Charleston, South Carolina, late Thursday evening, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.

Subsea Salvage

Two Rescued from Sinking Shrimp Boat

Two fishermen were rescued from their sinking shrimp boat by a U.S. Coast Guard aircrew Friday off the coast of Saint Simons Island near Brunswic, Georgia.   Watchstanders

Maritime Casualty Forum Held in Singapore

More than 250 shipping and insurance professionals gathered for the first ever Asian Maritime Casualty Forum held during Singapore Maritime Week.   The two-day conference,

700+ Migrants Killed in Shipwreck 'the Worst Mediterranean Massacre'

More than 700 migrants are feared to have drowned 'like rats in cages' on a smuggler boat because they were locked in the hold when it capsized off the Libyan  and sank in the Mediterranean sea.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Salvage Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.3440 sec (3 req/sec)