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Ecological risk assessment principles applied to oil spill response planning in the San Francisco Bay Area.This report describes the efforts of a group of individuals involved in or concerned with the environmental impacts of oil spills and oil spill response in San Francisco Bay. Participants affiliated with various federal and state government agencies, the response industry, and environmental organizations were invited to utilize their individual familiarity with the issues in discussion and consensus-building exercises. The conclusions and recommendations do not commit any governmental, industry, or environmental organization in the San Francisco Bay area to a particular course of action or policy. This report was disseminated to participants for review, and their comments have been addressed in the final report. Some participants requested that the report be given wider dissemination in draft form to allow review by parent organizations and other non-participants. Although the sponsors agree that wide dissemination of the final document is essential, dissemination of the draft report beyond actual participants was not encouraged, since the report represents the consensus conclusions of the participants. Nevertheless, some comments were received from organizations, rather than participants. Some comments regarding style and grammar from non-participants were incorporated into the final report, but comments that altered the final consensus conclusions reached by participants were not incorporated. Those comments are relevant, however, and they serve as an excellent starting point for future discussion at the Area Committee and Regional Response Team levels of improved response capabilities in the San Francisco Bay Area. They are, therefore, included as Appendix R. This report does not endorse the use of dispersants or any other response measure on a specific spill incident in San Francisco Bay or elsewhere, but it does indicate that that more emphasis on integrated response measures, including unconventional options, might be of benefit. The results of this ERA are intended as a starting point for further, more focused study by those organizations potentially benefiting from spill mitigation strategies.
Ecological Risk Assessment Consensus Workshop Environmental Tradeoffs Associated With Oil Spill Response Technologies Santa Barbara Channel: A Report for Regional Response Team IX.In March and April of 2002, Regional Response Team (RRT) IX sponsored a workshop to evaluate the relative risk to natural resources from various oil spill response options (on-water mechanical recovery and dispersant application) in comparison to natural recovery. The spill scenario involved the release of 10,000 barrels of Intermediate Fuel Oil (IFO) 180 in the northern end of the Santa Barbara Channel, under conditions which threatened the interior coastline of the Channel Islands. The workshop involved two meetings during which participants received briefings on the expected results of the spill with and without response options, the relative effectiveness of on-water mechanical recovery, dispersants and on-water in situ burning, and the risks and benefits of these response options to the habitats and natural resources of the area. The participants were then divided into three focus groups and were asked to develop relative risk scores for the various alternatives, using standard analytical protocols outlined in the Coast Guard guidebook entitled "Developing Consensus Ecological Risk Assessments: Environmental Protection in Oil Spill Response Planning. A Guidebook." The scores from the three groups were then compared and a composite risk matrix developed which represented the overall consensus of the entire group. At the conclusion of the second meeting, the group developed a list of lessons learned and recommendations for the RRT and local Area Committee which they felt would improve local response planning efforts.
Ecological Risk Assessment Consensus Workshop Environmental Tradeoffs Associated With Oil Spill Response Technologies Casco Bay, Maine: A Report to the Maine/New Hampshire Area Committee.In June 2003, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) District 1 sponsored a workshop to evaluate the relative risk to natural resources from various oil spill response options (on-water mechanical recovery, dispersant application, and shoreline removal) compared to natural recovery. The spill scenario involved a release of approximatelyl,200 barrels (50,000 gallons) of Brent crude near the southern edge of Casco Bay, under conditions which threatened some interior islands and some exterior coastline. Participants examined this scenario during one accelerated, two-and-a-half day meeting during which they received briefings on the expected results of the spill with and without response options; the relative effectiveness of on-water mechanical recovery and dispersants; and the risks and benefits of these response options to the area's habitats and natural resources. Participants divided into two focus groups and developed relative risk scores for three alternatives, using standard analytical protocols outlined in the Coast Guard guidebook: Developing Consensus Ecological Risk Assessments: Environmental Protection in Oil Spill Response Planning. A Guidebook. Scores from each group were then compared, and a composite risk matrix developed to represent the overall consensus. At the conclusion of the workshop, participants developed lessons learned along with recommendations for the Regional Response Team (RRT) and local Area Committee to improve local response planning efforts.
Net Environmental Benefit (Ecological Risk) Assessment Consensus Workshop Environmental Tradeoffs Associated With Oil Spill Response Technologies Upper Mississippi River, Pools 7 and 19: A report to USCG District 8 and US EPA Region 5.In March and April 2004, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) District 8 and the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) sponsored two workshops in separate locations along the upper Mississippi River to evaluate the relative risk to natural resources from various oil spill response options. The first, held in La Crosse, Wisconsin, examined a Canola oil spill from a railroad accident into Pool 7 of the Mississippi River. The second, held in Keokuk, Iowa, examined a pipeline rupture that released West Texas Intermediate crude oil into Pool 19. Both exercises were assumed to occur in the fall, and so the primary concern was for protection of migrating waterfowl. In both exercises, there were also concerns about effects on protected species of mussels. There were local differences in viable response strategies which appeared to be acceptable. For example, bird hazing using boats appeared both feasible and attractive in Pool 7, but was not considered practical in Pool 19. Conversely, there was interest in shoreline in-situ burning in Pool 19, but not in Pool 7 because of the population density in the areas where the oil would collect. In both areas the spill affected most of the pool within the first 24 hours, so many of the impacts were judged to be unavoidable. Shoreline cleaning and nearshore recovery of pooled oil was judged effective in both areas in preventing reoiling, but participants were concerned about additional damage to sensitive habitats in both workshops. In Pool 19, participants felt that an early deployment of deflection booming offered the best option to protect waterfowl. In both areas, the ecological damage to migrating populations of waterfowl could be serious if the response options were not rapidly applied and effective, since very large populations of birds, in some cases the majority of the continental population, use the pools during migration.