The following are documents relating to oil spills, cleanups, and different R&D efforts by the military, government and private organizations. The hope is that scientists, researchers, investigators, clean-up crews, BP, or whomever else can use this as a research resource.
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which flowed unabated for three months in 2010, and may be continuing to leak. Named the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry, its source was a sea-floor oil gusher resulting from the 20 April 2010 explosion of Deepwater Horizon in which 11 men died. The Deepwater drilled on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect, block 252. The gushing wellhead was capped after 87 days, on 15 July 2010. An estimated 53,000 barrels per day (8,400 m3/d) of crude oil spew into the Gulf, with a total discharge estimated at 4.9 million barrels (210,000,000 US gal; 780,000 m3). The well was declared sealed on 19 September 2010.
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Recent Activities and Ongoing Developments, CRS Report, January 31, 2013 [15 Pages, 0.4 MB] – In the wake of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexicoon April 20, 2010, the federal government, state governments, and responsible parties faced anunprecedented challenge. An oil discharge continued for 84 days, resulting in the largest oil spillin U.S. waters—estimated at approximately 206 million gallons (4.9 million barrels).
Application of Laser Induced Fluorescence Implemented Through a Cone Penetrometer to Map the Distribution of an Oil Spill in the Subsurface. [5 Pages, 800KB] – Field monitoring at spill sites usually involves collection and analysis of ground water, soil gas, and/or core material. Applications for soil gas are limited to volatile contaminants in the vadose zone. Ground water assays are useful, but detect only contaminants associated with the aqueous phase. Total contamination of the subsurface, especially for petroleum hydrocarbons, is best measured by vertical profile core sampling and analyses.
Condensed USCG Oil Spill Response Health and Safety Plans. [103 Pages, 4MB] – This report contains three separate sections under one cover to serve as a ready-to-use set of Safety and Health Plans (SHP) by the US Coast Guard (USCG) in response to a release of oil or other petroleum product. This document is designed to be separable in the field to assist the Site Safety and Health Officer in preparing the necessary documentation in the shortest possible time. This, in turn, should allow spill response personnel to access the site in a more timely fashion to mitigate the release and to help minimize any subsequent environmental darnage. Part I of the document describes the USCG’s general safety and health plans. Part II helps lead the designated Site Safety and Health Officer through the task of Site Assessment and Characterization. Part III acts as the basis for Site-specific Safety and Health Plans as required by the OSHA standard promulgated under 29 CFR 1910.120. The forms provided in Part II are to be used for Site Assessment and Characterization to supplement the generic plans provided in Part III, which then may be made Incident and Site-specific.
Control of Oil Spills in High Speed Currents, A Technology Assessment. [134 Pages, 8.1MB] – A technology assessment has been conducted to analyze the threat of oil spills in fast currents. Technologies and methods for response were evaluated, and promising equipment and strategies were identified. Recommendations are made to pursue those methods, equipment, and training that show the most promise for improved oil spill response capabilities in currents from 1 to 6 knots. Recommendations include technology development, testing, and field demonstrations. In addition, regulations, guidelines and training requirements for the USCG and the oil spill response industry were reviewed to determine their adequacy for fast water response. Improvements are suggested to make these practices more useful. Containment and removal of oil spilled in rivers and coastal tidal regions, where currents exceed one knot, is very difficult because many skimmers and conventional booming methods are not effective in fast currents. Under fast water conditions, the oil must be skimmed as it goes by the recovery device, or the surface current containing the oil must be slowed down without causing entrainment within the skimmer or boom containment system. The benefits and liabilities of high-speed skimmers and specialized boom systems are reviewed for fast water conditions. Promising deflection strategies are shown. Alternate containment and diversion techniques, including pneumatic boom, horizontal air and water jets, plunging waterjets, diversion paravanes, and floating paddle wheels, are also analyzed.
Design, Construction, Test and Evaluation of a Frequency Scanning Radiometer tor Measuring Oil Slick Thickness. [141 Pages, 5MB] – Single frequency microwave radiometry has been used to detect and estimate oil slick thicknesses. Because only a single sampling point is used, estimates of oil thickness can become ambiguous. MIT Lincoln Laboratory proposed the concept of using a frequency scanning radiometer to sample multiple points across a frequency band, thus resolving the problem of ambiguities in oil thickness estimation. A laboratory-prototype FSR capable of scanning over Ka-band (26 -40GHz) was designed, built, and tested. The FSR was used in laboratory proof-of-principle testing to (1) measure uniform thickness oil layers under various ambient weather conditions (day, night, clear, cloudy, drizzle, and snow) and different oil types, and (2) measure the phenomenology of non-uniform thickness oil layers and emulsions. Comparisons of measured data sets with theoretical predictions demonstrated that the expected response of oil is consistent regardless of oil type or ambient weather condition. Comparisons of uniform oil layer measurements and non-uniform measurements with theoretical predictions indicate that the radiometric brightness temperature (TB) of the oil above that of water is a function of the percentage of that thickness of oil within the antenna field-of-view. Water/oil emulsions were measured and have a higher TB than a uniform layer of pure oil at the same thickness. Recommendations for FSR modifications and improvements, as well as future collection work are included.
Disposal of Oil Spill Cleanup Collections. [10 Pages, 400KB] – The occurrence of major oil spill incidents at sea has required the institution of cleanup operations for removal of resulting oil slicks from the seawater. One well established cleanup operation involves burning of the oil slick in place which often results in release of a significant amount of smoke into the atmosphere creating an air pollution problem. Where in-situ ignition and burning of the oil slick is not feasible, skimming of the oil slick by means of skimmer vessels has been resorted to. The skimmer vessels collect the oil from the oil slick locations with a significant amount of water, such as 9 gallons of water for each gallon of oil recovered. The containment tanks associated with such skimmer vessels are rapidly filled with volumetrically large oil and water collections having relatively small amounts of the oil requiring nevertheless frequent return to shore for off-loading thereby causing interruptions in the cleanup operation during which oil slick spreading occurs. Because of such cleanup interruption difficulty, oil combustion aboard the skimming vessel may be resorted to for a more rapid and continuous cleanup operation. However, such on-board combustion of the collected oil also involves considerable air pollution from in-situ discharge of gas combustion products.
Evaluation of Infrared Sensors for Oil Spill Response Operations. [75 Pages, 4MB] – During November 1994, the USCO conducted a field evaluation of several commercially available portable infrared (IR) sensors for their ability to detect oil on water at night. The evaluation was conducted over the natural oil seeps off the coast of Santa Barbara, CA. The portable sensors were operated from the open door of a Coast Guard HH-60J helicopter. Sensors evaluated included the Agema Thermovision 1000 and Texas Instruments LOCUSP operating in the long wave IR (LWIR) and the Cincinnati Electronics IRC-160ST and IRRIS-256ST operating in the medium wave IR (MWIR). The installed FLIR 2000 LWIR system provided a baseline reference of current CG IR capabilities. The LOCUSP was the only uncooled sensor evaluated.
Evaluation of Synthetic Aperture Radar for Oil-Spill Response [233 Pages, 12MB] – This report provides a detailed evaluation of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) as a potential technology improvement over the Coast Guard’s existing side-looking airborne radar (SLAR) for oil-spill surveillance applications. The U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center (R&D Center), Environmental Safety Branch, sponsored a joint experiment including the U.S. Coast Guard, Sandia National Laboratories, and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hazardous Materials Division. Radar imaging missions were flown on six days over the coastal waters off Santa Barbara, CA, where there are constant natural seeps of oil. Both the Coast Guard SLAR and the Sandia National Laboratories SAR were employed to acquire simultaneous images of oil slicks and other natural sea surface features that impact oil-spill interpretation. Surface truth and other environmental data were also recorded during the experiment. The experiment data were processed at Sandia National Laboratories and delivered to the R&D Center on a PC-based computer workstation for analysis by experiment participants.
Evaluation of an Oil Spill Trajectory Model Using Satellite-tracked, Oil-Spill-Simulating Drifters [10 Pages, 675kb] – We deployed ninety-seven oil-spill-simulating drifters over the continental shelf of the northeastern Gulf of Mexico during five hydrographic surveys conducted from 1997 through 1999. Earlier, side-by- side comparisons with spilled crude petroleum on the ocean surface had demonstrated that these drifters moved on the ocean surface like consolidated oil slicks under light to moderate winds. (Under high winds, a surface oil spill tends to be entrained into the mixed layer and Ekman transported, unlike the drifters, which remain on the sea surface and move mostly downwind.) The drifters were then deployed in the Gulf of Mexico as nonpolluting oil-spill proxies to compare their movements against results from an oil-spill trajectory model. The drifter trajectories were compared statistically to trajectories generated by the Oil-Spill Risk Analysis (OSRA) model. The model uses a variation of the 3.5- percent rule to compute the drift due to local wind forcing and superposes the prevailing ocean current on this wind-induced drift to obtain the total velocity of an oil spill on the ocean surface. The input fields are the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) winds and a data-assimilating hindcast of the ocean currents over the time the drifters were deployed. Scatter plots and linear regressions of the speeds and directions of simulated vs. modeled oil-spill drift show the extent to which they are different. Underlying these differences are the expected differences between the ocean current input field and the trajectories of satellite tracked, ?water-following? drifters deployed simultaneously with the oil-spill-simulating drifters. An earlier evaluation of the ECMWF winds showed better, but of course not perfect, agreement with meteorological buoys in the Gulf.
Floating Heavy Oil Recovery: Current State Analysis [29 Pages, 380KB] – Spills of heavy oils behave differently than lighter oils which affects recovery operations and costs. The oils are typically viscous and sticky in nature, and may require specialized equipment to effectively and efficiently contain and recover. Heavy oil spills have traditionally been infrequent in nature, but the trend of frequency is slowly increasing. This trend, coupled with their greater impact due to response difficulties has led to this review of the technologies and techniques used to contain and recover floating heavy oils. Technologies reviewed include pumps, containment strategies and equipment, skimmers, and storage with an emphasis on Coast Guard Vessel of Opportunity Spill Systems (VOSS) and Spilled Oil Response System (SORS). Research over the past five years has led to dramatic advances primarily in the pumping of heavy oils through the adaptation of steam/water injection systems on the inlet of pumps and annular water injection systems on the discharge end of pumps though some areas of investigation still exist. Additional advances have been made through the use of belt and brush adapters on weir skimmers commonly used by both the US and Canadian Coast Guards. Recent testing has demonstrated improvements in collection efficiencies which more than doubled the quantity of fluid being recovered while simultaneously reducing water up-take. These advances are helping to build heavy oil recovery capacity but target equipment areas still require additional development. Data gaps are identified and suggested areas of future research are summarized.
Harbor Oil Spill Removal/Recovery Systems. Phase 2. [15 Pages, 700kb]
Heavy Oil Detection (Prototypes) [74 Pages, 2MB] – Current methods for locating and recovering submerged oil spills are inadequate. Detection methods are often improvised on-scene, and recovery techniques are labor intensive and not always successful. The U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center has embarked on a multi-year project to develop a complete approach for dealing with spills of submerged oils. This report describes the assessment of detection techniques using sonar, laser fluorometry, real-time mass spectrometry, and in-situ fluorometry to locate oil sitting on the sea floor. Evaluation of four proof-of-concept devices was conducted at the Oil and Hazardous Material Simulated Environmental Test Tank (OHMSETT), now called The National Oil Spill Response Test Facility, in Leonardo, NJ, between November 2007 and February 2008. Further testing of two of these prototype devices, plus three additional detection systems, was conducted at OHMSETT in January 2009. This report contains the results of these tests and recommendations for Federal On-scene Coordinators when responding to spills of heavy oil (contained in Appendix E).
Investigation of a Multi-Sensor Method to Map Oil Spill Thickness [77 Pages, 2MB] – Presently, maritime oil spill response and pollution deterrence forces have no reliable means of mapping oil slick thickness volume from the air. This report describes a technology demonstration and preliminary evaluation of a multi-sensor method that might provide such a capability. During September 1996, the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center and its contractor, TASC, worked with the M.I.T. Lincoln Laboratory and the U.S. Minerals Management Service to test a new multi-sensor concept for monitoring oil spills. The test was conducted at the OHMSETT National Oil Spill Response Test Facility in Leonardo, New Jersey. Data were collected with a prototype frequency scarning microwave radiometer (FSR) and a commercial thermal infrared (IR) imaging radiometer. The multi-sensor method used FSR- derived oil thickness estimates to calibrate the gray scale of infrared images, thereby providing a means of producing oil thickness maps and volume estimates over relatively large areas. The target set consisted of containment rings filled with various known thicknesses of several oils, including both crude and diesel.
Investigation of Self-Help Oil-Spill Response Techniques and Equipment [387 Pages, 13MB] – This document describes a study conducted of 45 self-help response techniques and equipment for oceangoing tankers and inland tank barges to assess their potential effectiveness. The results will be considered by the Coast Guard to determine whether response requirements can be better met with shore-based equipment or vessel carried equipment. This study considers only vessel carried self-help equipment and techniques. The approach to this study included: (1) assessing time-dependent oil outflow in the cases of collision and grounding of both tankers and barges, (2) identifying environmental constraints on self-help countermeasure operation, (3) identifying human factor issues, and (4) assessing each self-help countermeasure with respect to its potential for minimizing oil loss to the environment. Results from the time-dependent oil outflow, environmental limitations, and human factors requirements were input into a simulation model. To set a base line, the first simulation run represents the case without any form of sen-help being applied. From the runs made in this study, no self-help countermeasure emerges as clearly superior to the others. However, the results do suggest that a pumping solution in conjunction with some form of containment has the most promise in the near term. In addition, this study produced results that are important to future modeling efforts, including the fact that ground plugging has a significant effect on oil outflow in the case of grounding.
Investigation of Sinking Methods for Removal of Oil Pollution from Water Surfaces. Report no. 3. Tests and Evaluation of Oil Sinking Materials [145 Pages, 11MB] – The purpose of the program was to investigate materials that can be used in the cleanup of massive oil spills by sinking the oil. The program was divided into four phases as follows: Phase I, Survey of the State-of-the-Art (AD-725 617); Phase II, Development of Standard Test Procedures; Phase III, Tests of Sinking Materials; Phase IV, Tests Analysis and Conclusions. The report completes the program as funded and covers the results of Phases III and IV; it also recapitulates pertinent portions of Phases I and II. Twenty-three oil sinking materials, which had been located, were screened and tested. These materials were evaluated (Phase IV) as dry-application sinking agents for oil. Factors such as cost, availability, effectiveness in sinking and tetaining oil, and hazards to personnel and plant life were considered in making the evaluations.
Marine Oil Spills: Prevention Methods and Enforcement Tools [117 Pages, 4MB]
Methods of Monitoring the Persian Gulf Oil Spill Using Digital and Hardcopy Multiband Data [48 Pages, 2MB] – A quick response demonstration was performed during the Persian Gulf War that showed a capability to monitor the path of oil dumped into the bay near Kuwait City using commercial satellite imagery. Both manual and semi-automated methods of image analysis were performed on AVHRR and Landsat TM imagery. Estimates of the oil area coverage were obtained using conventional classification methods. A hardcopy generation and reproduction capability was also demonstrated. Persian Gulf, Oil Spill, AVHRR, Landsat TM, Euclidean Distance, Bayesian Discriminant, Classifiers, Hardcopy Processing.
Natural Resources Damage Assessment: Information on Study of Seabirds Killed by Exxon Valdez Oil Spill [29 Pages, 1MB] – The crude oil that spilled from the Exxon Valdez spread to more than 1,200 miles of Alaska coastline, including portions of national forests, parks, and wildlife refuges managed by the federal government. This coastline is rich in fish and wildlife, such as herring, salmon, sea otters, whales, bald eagles, and seabirds, and the spill killed large numbers of many wildlife species. Among the most conspicuous effects of the spill was the injury to sea- birds. Seabirds are vulnerable to oil spills because they spend much of their time foraging on the sea’s surface. When their plumage comes in contact with the oil, it loses buoyancy, causing many birds to drown. Birds that manage to avoid drowning may die from exposure (oiled feathers provide poor insulation) or from ingesting oil that they try to preen from their plumage. Following the oil spill, more than 36,000 dead seabirds were recovered, frozen, and kept in storage as evidence of the effects of the spill. According to federal officials, these dead birds probably represented only a small portion of the number actually killed. Other birds were thought to have sunk, decomposed, been scavenged by other animals, or in some other way become unrecoverable.
Oceanographic Observations and Theoretical Analysis of Oil Slicks During the Chevron Spill, March 1970 [113 Pages, 3MB] – The report discusses oceanographic observations near the Chevron spilling well off the Mississippi Delta in March 1970 and relative roles of various physical factors of the regional estuarine system in the behavior of oil slicks.
Oil/Water Separator Test And Evaluation. [278 Pages, 12MB] – Four oil/water separators were tested in 1992 in a project jointly sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard R&D Center and the Marine Spill Response Corporation. The objective of the test program was to evaluate the performance of oil/water separators under a variety of conditions that replicated operating conditions expected during an offshore oil spill recovery operation. The separators tested were the Alfa-Laval OFPX 413 disk-stack centrifuge. Conoco Specialty Products’ Vortoil Oilspill Separation System, International Separation Technology’s Intr-Septor 250 and a simple gravity tank. Separation performance was documented for a range of influent oil/water ratios, using crude and a water-in-oil emulsion. Simulated sea motion, the addition of emulsion breaker, and debris in the influent were other variables included in the test program. Observations on separator operability, reliability, maintenance requirements, safety and transportability also were documented. Complete test results and analysis are included in the report. Recommended system improvements, based on manufacturers’ input and performance analysis also are included. Test methods and parameters are fully documented in the report.
Oil and Hydrocarbon Spill Bioremediation Product and Application Technology [111 Pages, 5MB] – This manuscript was prepared for use by U.S. Navy personnel to increase the awareness of the use of microbes and related technology associated in the remediation of hydrocarbon spills. Petroleum products are vastly used in every day naval operations, and spills will inevitable. In researching the information and obtaining data from U.S. Navy commands, it quickly became obvious that the operational Navy knew little of this information and was not using bioremediation as a possible remedial technology. It is intent of this manuscript to be used as a guide to assist and educate naval planners in understanding the role of bioremediation for site cleanup. As defense dollars shrink and the technology grows, bioremediation will become an attractive, economical means for the Navy’s environmental problems. Thus, knowledge of the technology is important so as to not be mislead by marketing experts with widely exaggerated claims of performance. The technology works well in most cases, yet problems can exist that must be questioned
Oil Spill Response in Fast Currents. A Field Guide [122 Pages, 27MB] – From 1992 to 1996, over 58 percent of oil spills larger than 100 gallons have occurred in waters that routinely exceed one knot. Efforts to quickly deploy effective fast-water spill response have been hampered by the lack of technology and adequate training. The objective of this guide is to serve as a training aid and a field manual to increase the effectiveness of fast-water responses. It was developed with the cooperation of multiple government agencies, U.S. Coast Guard units and commercial spill response firms. This document starts with a decision guide to determine what techniques can be used in various spill response scenarios. Additional details are provided for hydrodynamic issues, individual tactics, fastwater skimmers and support equipment such as boats and anchors. The appendices provide additional background information needed to make decisions during a response in fast-water conditions. This guide is designed to be useful for responders as well as those who monitor responses. Whenever possible, figures are accompanied by pictures to provide a full explanation of each tactic or methodology.
Oil Spill Response Offshore, In-Situ Burn Operations Manual [155 Pages, 7MB] – In-situ burning (ISB) of oil in the marine environment is a viable alternative response technology, but it has been seldom used during actual responses due to lack of resources, incomplete plans, and health and safety concems. The USCG recognized the need to develop an ISB operations manual to facilitate the effective use of ISB by spill response managers. The intent of the manual is to assist field personnel in managing, conducting, and monitoring successful ISB and to communicate the risks and benefits of this response method. Development of the manual was based on proven technologies, approaches, and lessons learned from several recent field exercises conducted by the USCG, and years of field experience and testing. The manual makes extensive use of graphics, nornographs, photos, decision trees, checklists, matrices, and to-the-point advice. The manual includes a summary Decision Guide for quick reference of key steps in making a go/no-go decision, and in assessing the information, equipment, and personnel requirements. Detailed descriptions of the feasibility of ISB for a given situation, the equipment involved in a successful burn, safety and risk factors including mitigating measures, and operational procedures are provided to support decision-making and operations.
Oil Spill Response Technology Initiation Decision Report to the Pollution Abatement Ashore Program [139 Pages, 900KB] – This Initiation Decision Report (IDR) describes a review and prioritization of potential technologies that could be used to reduce response costs and environmental damage from accidental spills of oil into the aquatic environment. The report was requested by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pollution Abatement Ashore (PAA) Program in response to a need submitted by the Navy oil spill user community to improve the management of oil spill response by more quickly detecting and responding to spills on water (PAA Need N-0404-06). This report evaluated technologies within six broad categories: Prevent, Sense, Assess, Coordinate, Recover, and Support. Navy On-Scene Coordinators (NOSCs) initially identified candidate technologies through the PAA Need Identification process. SPAWAR Systems Center San Diego (SSC San Diego) technologists identified additional technologies through direct solicitation for NOSC input and indirectly through conversations with NOSCs, other Navy responders, and spill contractors who were contacted during spill drills, exercises, and conferences, and after reviewing recent literature and the Internet. Technology ideas were compiled into a matrix that was sent out to each of the regional NOSCs so they could prioritize them in meeting their needs. The IDR provides a list of prioritized recommendations based on NOSC input, their needs rankings, and an initial assessment of feasibility and implementation.
Oil Spill Risk Assessment Model and the Ranking of Ports for Oil Spill Vulnerability. [106 Pages, 4MB] – The U.S. Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Office (MSO) of each port is required to develop contingency plans to respond to oil spills. The contingency plans at present do not use rigorous risk assessment procedures to identify the spectrum of spills that are possible in each port and estimate the frequency of occurrence of different size spills. In order to provide these procedures, there was a need to develop, for use in contingency planning, a uniform guidance methodology based on risk assessment principles. The development of port specific oil spill risk assessment methodology is described in this report. The port model takes into consideration the specifics of the water body in the port, vessel traffic, current or projected oil transport volume into the port per year, size distribution of vessels, as well as the size distribution of the oil carrying vessels (tankers and barges), weather and channel characteristics, etc. The model uses the accident risk factors for a number of U.S. ports developed in the Ports Need (Vessel Traffic Services Benefit) Study and takes into account the reduction in the vessel accident rate due to the provision of vessel traffic management systems. The output from the risk model is a histogram of the frequency of accidents vs the size of potential spill volume. A PC based computer program (‘OlLRlSK’) has also been developed to calculate the risk for any port. Using the results, the spill risks in different ports can be compared and the ports ranked based on the susceptibity to small, medium and large spills. The oil spill risk for a number of major U.S. ports has been calculated and presented.
Puget Sound 1999 Area Oil Spill Exercise: Evaluation Report. [66 Pages, 2MB] – This report serves as the Navy’s formal evaluation for the 1999 Pugent Sound Area Oil Spill Exercise. The report includes exercise results, lessons learned, and recommendations. The basic aim of the exercise was to improve the Navy’s ability to interface with the local response community in the effort to organize and respond to a worst-case oil spill and to test the response strategies set forth in the region’s Area Contingency Plan and Geographic Response Plans. The report examine both the success of the exercise in meeting its fundamental goals and the success of the spill response.
Second Phase Evaluation of a Protocol for Testing a Fire Resistant Oil Spill Containment Boom [68 Pages, 3MB] – A second series of fire tests utilizing the American Standard for Testing Materials (ASTM) F-20 draft, Standard Guide for In-Situ Burning of Oil Spills on Water: Fire-Resistant Containment Boom, as a guideline were conducted in a wave tank at the U.S. Coast Guard Fire and Safety Test Detachment in Mobile, Alabama, during August-September 1998. The test series used six different fire-resistant oil spill containment booms, including two water-cooled designs. Three of the booms used in the evaluation were modified designs of booms used in the first series conducted in 1997. A 15-meter section of each boom was formed in a circle and subjected to a diesel fuel fire, for up to three hours, while waves were produced. Testing issues, such as the boom constraint system, the location of the heat flux gauges and thermocouples, and special procedures for water-cooled booms, were addressed. The results of the second test series are presented, and the strengths and weaknesses of the protocol are discussed, along with areas for possible improvement.
Spill Prevention and Countermeasures Plan [137 Pages, 5MB] – The purposes of the spill prevention control and countermeasure plan (SPCC) is to prevent and control the discharge of oil and hazardous substances at RMA. The SPCC plan identifies potential sources of oil and hazardous substances and the measures required to prevent accidental discharge resulting from equipment or storage facility failure. In the event that a spill occurs, the SPCC plan identified the means to control, contain and cleanup the discharge. The SPCC plan is directed by the U.S. EPA regulations and the U.S. Army regulations. The SPCC plan for RMA is organized as follows: project background is provided, detailed descriptions of the individual tanks are provided, The installation spill contingency (ISC) plan is presented, the security at each of the tank areas is discussed, a description is provided of the types of training procedures for RMA personnel, and reporting requirements are presented, including the regulatory agencies which need to be contacted if an accidental spill occurs.
Spill Prevention Guidance Document [370 Pages, 16MB] – This manual guides Navy areas in developing and implementing their Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure plan (SPCC Plan) for oil and hazardous substances (HS). This document is required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Part 40 of the Code of Federal Regulation, Section 112 (20 CFR 112), the Oil Pollution Prevention regulation, and OPNAVINST 5090.1B, for oil area meeting the criteria in 40 CFR 112. Spill control measures are required for hazardous waste (HW) storage areas regulated by either 40 CFR 264 or 40 CFR 265. Additionally, some spill control measures are required for underground storage tanks (UST) regulated by 40 CFR 280. HW storage areas, not specifically regulated by the above referenced regulations, do not have regulated spill control requirements; however, it is considered best engineering practice to have spill control measures at all HS storage areas. Therefore, it is recommended that all HS storage areas be included in Navy SPCC plans. For overseas locations please refer to OEBGD/FGS criteria for spill prevention guidance.
Spill Response System Configuration Study. [44 Pages, 2MB] – This report describes the development of a prototype decision support system for oil spill response configuration planning that will help U.S. Coast Guard planners to determine the appropriate response equipment and personnel for major spills. The report discusses the application of advanced artificial intelligence planning techniques, as well as other software tools for spill trajectory modeling, plan evaluation and map display. The implementation of the prototype system is discussed in the context of two specific major spill scenarios in the San Francisco Bay.
Spinning Filter Separation System for Oil Spill Clean-Up Operation [11 Pages, 550KB] – According to current technology, effective clean up of oil spills from the surface of ocean water is performed by an oil sweeper vessel within which oil contaminated water is collected for transport to remotely located on-shore equipment within which oil separation and disposal is performed. The processing of large quantities of oil polluted ocean water is accordingly time consuming as well as costly. It is therefore an important object of the present invention to provide a less costly oil spill clean up system involving more rapid processing of large quantities of oil polluted ocean water. In accordance with the present invention, oil polluted ocean water is processed at an oil spill location by continuous separation during pressurized flow of the water through at least two separator devices within which successive reduction in oil concentration is effected with respect to a separated portion of the water by filtered flow through porous membrane walls to correspondingly increase the oil concentration within the other remaining portion of water being processed. The first portion of the processed water when sufficiently reduced in oil concentration is discharged for return to the oil spill location, while the remaining portion is collected until a sufficient level of oil concentration therein is achieved to permit disposal thereof by burning at the oil spill site.
Test and Evaluation of Oil/Water Separators: Intr-Septor 250 and FRAMO ‘Skimmer Separator’ [31 Pages, 2MB] – This report presents the results of testing two candidate Oil/Water Separator (OWS) units. The tests were planned and directed by the Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center (NFESC) at Port Hueneme, California, under joint sponsorship and funding from the United States Coast Guard Research and Development Center and the Marine Spill Response Corporation. The ‘Intr-Septor 250’ was a repeat performer, having been modified as a result of similar tests conducted by the Navy in 1992. The second candidate, the FRAMO ‘Skimmer Separator,’ arrived as a prototype machine, having recently been assembled and put through shakedown tests by the manufacturer. Each unit was subjected to a comprehensive sequence of tests that included the processing of various percentages of test oil in water and oil/water emulsion in free water (with and without emulsion breaker). In addition, tests that included the passage of entrained debris were completed to establish a baseline for performance under conditions conducive to clogging the OWS. In summary, although each machine was successful in effectively separating oil from water at particular inlet conditions, each recorded operational ‘hiccups’ while performing over the full range of input characteristics that would be anticipated during an actual marine spill. The most significant deficiency was the inability to operate effectively and reliably through wide variations in percentage of waste oil and emulsion composition, and to handle ingested debris materials. In particular, the processing of heavy emulsions and slugs of particle debris appears to ‘gum up’ the inner workings to such a degree that partial disassembly and cleaning of small orifices was required in order to get the OWS back on line.
Tracking the Weathering of an Oil Spill with Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography [13 Pages, 2MB] – Comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC x GC)was used to investigate the Bouchard 120 oil spill. The latter occurred on April 25, 2003, when the barge Bouchard 120 spilled 375,000 liters of No. 6 fuel oil into Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. In order to gain a better understanding of the natural processes affecting the fate of the spilled product, we collected and analyzed oil-covered rocks from Nyes Neck beach in North Falmouth, Massachusetts. Here we discuss the data from samples collected on May 9, 2003, and six months later, on November 23, 2003. Along with standard two-dimensional gas chromatographic analysis, we employed unique data-visualization techniques such as difference, ratio, and addition chromatograms to highlight how evaporation, water washing, and biodegradation weathered the spilled oil. These approaches provide a new perspective to studying oil spills and aid attempts to remediate them.
Training Marine Oil Spill Response Workers Under OSHA’s Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard [35 Pages, 300KB] – This booklet, written for marine oil spill response employers, describes the training your employees need under HAZWOPER, the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response standard, Title 29 of Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.120. The Occupational safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published HAZWOPER to protect workers involved in hazardous substance emergency response and cleanup operations. Not every spill response worker needs the same amount of training. The type of training you give your workers depends on how close they will be to a spill and what role they will have in stopping, containing, or recovering the spilled material from the release. For example, if you have workers who control an oil spill early in an incident, they need more training than workers who simply warn others about a spill. This booklet explains how HAZWOPER training requirements apply to the range of workers who participate in marine soil spill response. To use this guidance effectively, you need to know the duties you expect your workers to perform and exposure conditions under which you would allow them to work. You must train your workers to the highest level of skill, responsibility, and exposure that you will assign them.
U.S. Coast Guard Oil Spill Response Research & Development Program, A Decade of Achievement [79 Pages, 4.1MB] – This report provides a comprehensive summary of the Coast Guard oil spill response R&D program undertaken during the period 1990 through 2001 following the EXXON VALDEZ oil spill and in response to the R&D provisions of OPA 90. During this period, the Coast Guard R&D efforts addressed four main focus areas: Spill Response Planning and Management, Spill Detection and Surveillance, Vessel Salvage and On-Board Containment, and Spilled Oil Cleanup and Countermeasures. The specific projects undertaken in each focus area are described, and the longer-term benefits of these projects in enhancing Coast Guard response capability are summarized. Coast Guard R&D contributions in developing oil spill R&D infrastructure, supporting oil spill technology research at universities, and facilitating technology transfer and promoting public awareness are also discussed. In addition, ‘representative quantitative estimates’ are calculated for the potential cost savings that resulted from advances in specific technology focus areas to show the relative ‘return on investment’ for the program.
A Study of the Behavior of Oil Spills in the Arctic [60 Pages, 1MB] – A program to investigate the behavior of oil spills in the Arctic was conducted off the northern coast of Alaska. Numerous small oil spills were made to obtain data on the following subjects: the spreading behavior of crude oil on ice and water surfaces; the interaction characteristics of crude oil with ice; the aging characteristics of crude oil which has been spilled on ice, on water, and under ice; and the effectiveness of burning and adsorption as methods of removal. Both Prudhoe Bay (‘Sag’ River) crude oil and diesel fuel were used in the test program. Results quantify spreading and interaction characteristics in addition to presenting qualitative information on each area of interest. Promise is shown for both burning and absorption as methods of oil removal in the summer. Data is presented on both the physical and chemical characteristics of aged crude oil.
Vulnerability Model. A Simulation System for Assessing Damage Resulting from Marine Spills [355 Pages, 15MB] – The Vulnerability Model (VM) is a computerized simulation system for assessing damage that results from marine spills of hazardous materials; the final report, summarized here, describes the research background, computational techniques, and preliminary test results associated with the first stage of development of the VM. This first stage of model development consisted of the design and implementation of an operational computer simulation, thereby demonstrating the feasibility of the philosophy, concepts, and approaches pertaining to the VM. Certain aspects of the modeling, as now operational, are subject to enhancement by augmentation, increase in precision, or both. Ultimately, the model is intended to be a comprehensive tool for assessing damage resulting from marine spills.
The West Falmouth Oil Spill [59 Pages, 2MB]