Accidental spills at sea - Risk, impact, mitigation and the need for co-ordinated post-incident monitoring

The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Cefas Lowestoft Laboratory, Pakefield Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 0HT, UK. <>
Marine Pollution Bulletin (Impact Factor: 2.99). 04/2010; 60(6):797-803. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2010.03.015
Source: PubMed


A fully integrated and effective response to an oil or chemical spill at sea must include a well planned and executed post-incident assessment of environmental contamination and damage. While salvage, rescue and clean-up operations are generally well considered, including reviews and exercises, the expertise, resources, networks and logistical planning required to achieve prompt and effective post-spill impact assessment and monitoring are not generally well established. The arrangement and co-ordination of post-incident monitoring and impact assessment need to consider sampling design, biological effects, chemical analysis and collection/interpretation of expert local knowledge. This paper discusses the risks, impacts and mitigation options associated with accidental spills and considers the importance of pre-considered impact assessment and monitoring programmes in the wider response cycle. The PREMIAM (Pollution Response in Emergencies: Marine Impact Assessment and Monitoring; project is considered as an example of an improved approach to the planning, co-ordination and conduct of post-incident monitoring.

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    • "The growing concern about environmental problems of great magnitude has led to increased demand for ways of preventing and mitigating the environmental impacts that may occur (Kirby and Law, 2010; Anderson, 2002). Hydrocarbons from oil accidentally released into the environment cause severe environmental disturbances, damaging the biota and economy of the hit site (De la Huz et al., 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: In the present study, acrylic coupons with a thin layer of oil on the surface were incubated in the coastal water of Trindade Island, Brazil, for 60 days. The microorganisms adhered to the coupons were isolated using enrichment medium with hexadecane and naphthalene as the sole carbon and energy source. A total of 15 bacterial isolates were obtained, and the ability of these isolates to use different hydrocarbons as the source of carbon and energy was investigated. None of the isolates produced biosurfactants under our experimental conditions. Subsequently, identification methods such as partial sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene and analysis of fatty acids (MIDI) profile were employed. Among the 15 isolates, representatives of Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, and Alphaproteobacteria were detected. The isolates Rhodococcus rhodochrous TRN7 and Nocardia farcinica TRH1 were able to use all the hydrocarbons added to the culture medium (toluene, octane, xylene, naphthalene, phenanthrene, pyrene, hexadecane, anthracene, eicosane, tetracosane, triacontane, and pentacontane). Polymerase chain reaction amplification of the DNA isolated by employing primers for catechol 2,3-dioxygenase, alkane dehydrogenase and the alpha subunit of hydroxylating dioxygenases polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon rings genes demonstrated that various isolates capable of utilizing hydrocarbons do not exhibit genes of known routes of catabolism, suggesting the existence of unknown catabolic pathways in these microorganisms. Our findings suggest that the microbiota associated to the coast of tropical oceanic islands has the ability to assist in environmental regeneration in cases of accidents involving oil spills in its shore. Thus, it motivates studies to map bioremediation strategies using the autochthonous microbiota from these environments. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Environmental Management 06/2015; 156. DOI:10.1016/j.jenvman.2015.03.016 · 2.72 Impact Factor
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    • "However, relative scarcity of the literature on the effectiveness evaluation of ERS is emphasized, and the area of ERS for oil spill is particularly underdeveloped. Some literatures only focus on the part of the ERS, which includes coordination between the military and civilian organizations during emergency (Salmon et al. 2011), the importance of updating information during the emergence response (Vivacqua and Borges 2012) , the improvement of the response time to increase the effectiveness of ERS (Mustaffa and Kazunori 2012) , effectiveness of response team features (Leach and Mayo 2013 ), the effectiveness of training in organizations ( Winfred et al. 2003), the stakeholders' perspective of prioritizing oil spill objectives (Tuler and Webler 2009), and post-incident assessment of environmental contamination and damage (Kirby and Law 2010). However, the emergency response comprises a series of interrelated and interdependent components and activities. "
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    ABSTRACT: The increase of oil spill accidents has made significant impacts on life, property and the environment. Facing ever-increasing risk of disaster losses, how to cope with and response to large scale oil spill disaster effectively is becoming more and more important. And it is extremely onerous and arduous to develop a highly capable assessment technique to evaluate the effectiveness of emergency response system (ERS) for oil spill. An ERS for oil spill is a complex and dynamic system comprising a number of elements, one of which fails to accomplish its function would result in potential adverse impacts on the whole system. Evaluating the effectiveness of the system requires the consideration of all failures identified in the system simultaneously. Aims to propose a decision-making framework, this paper uses failure mode effect and criticality analysis (FMECA) to evaluate the effectiveness of ERS to make improvements in oil spill emergency management. It is achieved by analysing the components and bounds of the system, identification of generic failure modes which are considered as key factors of ERS for oil spill. And lastly a case study is demonstrated to validate the methodology framework.
    14th COTA International Conference of Transportation Professionals; 06/2014
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    • "Finally , although marine emergencies occur without warning, there is still a need to be able to initiate monitoring activity in a timely manner, especially if there is an opportunity to collect samples to inform a baseline dataset before an area is impacted. This essential element of responsiveness is often overlooked and has resulted in delays of days, weeks or even months for monitoring programmes to be fully in place (Kirby and Law, 2010) in the absence of a preparedness strategy. "
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding the fate and effects of marine spills is essential if the scientific and response communities are to develop best practices. The effective deployment of environmental monitoring activity can be complex and requires planning and coordination but the levels of preparedness to deliver the necessary expertise, coordination and funding are often low. This paper identifies and describes the importance of 8 principles of effective post-spill monitoring programmes. These principles are then used in the assessment of monitoring preparedness through the generation of a monitoring preparedness assessment score (MPAS). This approach can be used by local, regional or national authorities to establish the level of preparedness for environmental monitoring and prioritise areas for improvement. It also has value to responders, policy makers, environmental scientists and planners as a tool to assess preparedness and capability for specific scenarios. The approach is demonstrated through the assessment of previous incidents and potential future scenarios.
    Marine Pollution Bulletin 05/2014; 82(1-2). DOI:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2014.01.038 · 2.99 Impact Factor
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