Arctic Research Explores the ‘Roomba’ Approach
The pace and quality of oil spill research in the United States typically ebbs and flows as a function of two, if not three important variables. First, after the 1989 Exxon Valdez grounding, there was a flurry of activity to ramp up oil spill research because it had been dormant for so long. The need was recognized, with plenty of money made available. Primarily, this research centered on conventional spill remediation techniques – for example, a tanker or barge spilling oil – and not much else. Predictably, when memory of the spill faded, so did interest in research and funding followed.
IMO Regional Pollution Centre Assists Greece Oil Spill Clean-up
The International Maritime Organization (IMO)-administered Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) is providing technical expertise to help clean up beaches in Greece affected by an oil spill. Two experts are in Greece (8 to 14 October) to give technical support on sunken oil assessment, removal techniques and efficient oil removal from sandy beaches. This follows the sinking of the AGIA ZONI II, off Piraeus, on 10 September. The experts are from the Centre of Documentation…
Canadian Legislation Will Interfere with International Maritime Trade, Says ICS
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), representing the world’s national shipowners’ associations and 80% of the world merchant fleet, has voiced deep concern about a proposed legislation in Canada which it says will interfere with international maritime trade. The Canadian Parliament is giving consideration to legislation that would have the effect of establishing a moratorium on the shipment of crude oil in the waters of Northern British Columbia (Bill C-48: An Act respecting…
Hearing on Oil Recovery Research & Technology Needs
The Subcommittee on Energy and Environment of the House Committee on Science and Technology conducted a hearing on Research and Technology Needs for Oil Recovery and Effective Cleanup of Oil Spills. Committee Chair Bart Gordon (D-) made an opening statement. Subcommittee Chair Brian Baird (D-) made an opening statement. Mr. Douglas Helton, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), testified that NOAA is providing scientific information regarding oil spill trajectory and conducting natural resource damage assessments. Captain Anthony Lloyd, US Coast Guard, testified concerning the National Incident Command’s efforts to respond to the ongoing oil spill. Ms.
Consiliums Oil Spill Detection Radar
The recently launched Oil Spill Radar by Consilium Marine & Safety was tested together with the Norwegian Coastal Administration and the Norwegian Clean Seas Association For Operative Companies (NOFO). Within months since the successful tests last July, the Consilium Oil Spill Detection Radar is celebrating a breakthrough by responding to an increasing demand. The Oil Spill Detection Radar is being used on the Finnish Icebreaker Kontio, commissioned as stand-by Vessel for EMSA (European Maritime Safety Agency)…
BOEMRE New Positions to Further Regulatory Reform
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) formally announced its search for qualified leaders to fill two senior positions to further offshore oil and gas regulatory reform efforts. The first position is the Director of the Offshore Training Center, and the second is the Division Chief for the Oil Spill Response Division. Both positions are being advertised nationally to recruit the most qualified professionals to establish new organizations in the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), one of two new bureaus being created as part of the reorganization of the former Minerals Management Service. BSEE is the new bureau responsible for regulation and enforcement of offshore activities.
BSEE Targets $7 Million Investment in Oil Spill Response Research
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) announced that it is soliciting proposals for oil spill response research projects and will be investing up to $7 million to support these projects in 2014. In a Broad Agency Announcement released on the federal governments business opportunities website, FedBizOpps.gov, the bureau called for white papers focusing specifically on one of 10 topic areas for proposed research covering oil spill response operations on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.
BSEE Conducts Oil Spill Response Equipment Review
Earlier this week, BSEE's Oil Spill Response Division (OSRD) conducted an onsite review of oil spill response equipment listed in DCOR, LLC's Oil Spill Response Plan for platforms offshore Long Beach, Calif. The visit included verification of equipment and response vessels maintained by Marine Spill Response Corporation. OSRD verifies the equipment listed in each operator's plan on a rotating basis in addition to reviewing maintenance and training records. BSEE oversees oil spill planning and preparedness for U.S.
DNV Acquires Oil Spill Company NPS
The Arctic has large oil and gas resources and operations in this sensitive and harsh area will require efficient oil-spill preparedness solutions. “The acquisition of Norwegian Petro Services (NPS) in Norway and its recognised expertise will play an important role in our activities in this field,” says Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, DNV’s COO of the Norway, Russia and Finland division. Oil and gas operations in the Arctic introduce several new risk elements; the distances are greater, the climate is cold, it is dark for a lot of the year and there may be no infrastructure. “Both the industry and society focus heavily on reducing the environmental effects of operations in Arctic areas such as the Barents Sea.
EPA Awards 10th Grader for Work on Marine Oil Spills
Oregon 10th grader Sahil Veeramoney received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 10 President’s Environmental Youth Award for his development of a novel and efficient method to clean up marine oil spills. Veeramoney, a student at Oregon Episcopal School in Portland, Oregon, developed a method to remediate marine oil spills after studying the environmental impact of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico and subsequent oil spills.
By the Numbers: Oil Spill Response
An explosion aboard the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Deepwater Horizon on April 20, 2010 set off a chain of events that led to its sinking and subsequent oil spill. That same day, the DHS Secretary declared the Deepwater Horizon incident a Spill of National Significance (SONS). Eventually, at least 47 offers of International assistance were received. Response to the incident required extraordinary coordination, a coordinated effort to secure the well, contain and clean up the oil among all stakeholders.
New USCG Equipment Rule for Vessels Carrying Oil
The U.S. Coast Guard has finalized an interim rule that requires vessels carrying oil in bulk as cargo to carry discharge removal equipment, install spill prevention coamings and install emergency towing arrangements. The rule, due to take effect May 9, 2016, also requires that these vessels to have prearranged capability to calculate damage stability in the event of a casualty. The Coast Guard said this rulemaking aims to help reduce the risk of oil spills, improving vessel oil spill response capabilities and minimizing the impact of oil spills on the environment.
PCCI Conducts Oil Spill Response Training
PCCI, Inc. conducted oil spill management training for 18 senior executives participating in the Special American Business Internship Training Program (SABIT) on November 1, 2002. The participating executives came from oil, pipeline, and ecological companies located in Russia, Georgia, and Kazakhstan. This is the third time that PCCI has provided training for the SABIT program of the U.S. Department of Commerce. PCCI provided the visiting delegation with comprehensive training in the areas of spill preparedness, evaluating and procuring oil spill response equipment, and oil spill response readiness.
Post-Hurricane Pollution Recovery Continues
Personnel from the multi-agency unified command based here continue to assess, investigate and clean up six major and three medium oil spills caused by damage to facilities after Hurricane Katrina struck Southeast Louisiana. Nearly 750 people from dozens of federal,state and local agencies, as well as industry partners and contract workers, are involved in the cleanup operation. Personnel are also investigating numerous minor spills in the area. The following numbers reflect the latest reports on the nine major and medium oil spills. Total numbers for amounts of oil spilled, evaporated, dispersed and recovered are estimates and are subject to change; estimates for recovered volume at some sites may represent an oil/water mix.
New Effort to Collect & Review Oil Spill Solutions
The Interagency Alternative Technology Assessment Program workgroup, newly established by the National Incident Commander for the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, announced a new effort to collect and review oil spill response solutions from scientists and vendors. The Coast Guard’s Research and Development Center, in collaboration with interagency partners, issued a Broad Agency Announcement on www.FedBizOpps.gov, calling for the submission of white papers that cover: oil sensing improvements to response and detection; oil wellhead control and submerged oil response; traditional oil spill response technologies; alternative oil spill response technologies; and oil spill damage assessment and restoration.
EMSA Seeks Stand-by Spill Recover Vessels
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) issued a Prior Information Notice stating that it is seeking to contract with ship owners for service contracts making the ships available to stand-by for potential use as oil spill recovery vessels. The four priority areas where such service is sought are the Baltic Sea, the Western Approaches to the Channel, the Atlantic Coast, and the Mediterranean Sea. In the event of a large oil spill and following a request by a member state, the stand-by vessel would cease its commercial activities and commence oil spill response. (HK Law)
USCG – Response Plans and Significant Pollution Events
The US Coast Guard issued guidance on vessel and facility response plans in relation to oil spill response organization (OSRO) resource movements during significant pollution events. The goal is to advise field units and regulated entities on adjustments that may be required when oil spill response resources identified in response plans are suddenly unavailable because they have been deployed to a major oil spill elsewhere. This is what occurred following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The guidance is intended to regularize the process of making adjustments and obtaining necessary waivers.
Managing Oil Spills
International experts have been sharing experiences, new technologies and scientific advancements relating to oil spill response at the International Oil Spill Conference (IOSC) in Long Beach, United States (15-18 May). The theme of the conference is “prevent, prepare, respond and restore”, which fully aligns with International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s regulatory work to prevent oil spills from occurring and also its work to support countries to be prepared to respond to such incidents.
Maritime NZ Oil Spill Response Review: Submissions
Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) says it invites submissions on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy 2014 (the draft Strategy). The draft Strategy, (available at http://bit.ly/1pe6p46) is based on the current version but substantially updated to include lessons learned nationally and internationally in recent years and follows discussion with regional councils, the community and iwi, and industry at a series of public held earlier this year. The safety agency…
Senator to Introduce Oil Spill Prevention Legislation
Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) has state that she intends to introduce legislation to reduce the risk of an oil spill in Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca by, among other things, doubling the tug escort requirement for all oil tankers over 5,000 gross tons operating in Puget Sound and Prince William Sound; requiring a permanent rescue tug at Neah Bay; and providing financial support for the Washington State Oil Spill Advisory Council. Source: HK Law
Hearing on Oil Spills from Non-Tank Vessels
On December 18, the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries & Coast Guard of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation conducted a hearing on Oil Spills from Non-Tank Vessels. Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI) noted the success of OPA 90 in reducing spills from tank vessels, but noted that the incidence of spills from non-tank vessels have not declined as much, asking whether standards for these vessels should be strengthened. Admiral Thad Allen, Commandant, US Coast Guard, discussed efforts to make fuel tanks on vessels less susceptible to damage and proposed increasing the limit of liability for damages caused by oil spills from non-tank vessels. Ms.
Adm. Allen Approves Section of Louisiana Barrier Island Project
The National Incident Commander for the BP oil spill, Admiral Thad Allen, approved the implementation of a section of Louisiana’s barrier island project proposal that could help stop oil from coming ashore and where work could be completed the fastest—as an integrated part of the federal response to the BP oil spill. This step will save Louisiana the cost of construction for this section by integrating it with the federal government’s ongoing oil spill response—thus paving the road for payment by BP, as a responsible party, or the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.
American Samoa Port Authority Fined for Oil Spill Prevention Deficiencies
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a News Release stating that the American Samoa Port Authority was fined $2,600 for deficiencies regarding the oil spill prevention measures at its commercial harbor and airport. The port authority is now developing a comprehensive oil spill prevention and control plan. Source: HK Law