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Accidental Oil Spills from Marine Shipping - From European Environment Agency (EEA). Assessment made on 01 Nov 2008. Despite the decreasing number of accidental oil spills in European waters, major accidental oil tanker spills (i.e. those greater than 20,000 tons) still occur at irregular intervals. Large accidental oil spills account for about 10-15 per cent of all oil that enters the ocean worldwide every year (the major source of anthropogenic marine pollution being constituted by land-based discharges).
California Department of Fish and Game - Manages California's diverse fish, wildlife, and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by the public.
California Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) - As both a prevention and response organization, the OSPR has the Department of Fish and Game's public trustee and custodial responsibilities for protecting, managing and restoring the State's fish, wildlife, and plants. It is one of the few State agencies in the nation that has both major pollution response authority and public trustee authority for wildlife and habitat. This mandate ensures that prevention, preparedness, restoration and response will provide the best protection for California's natural resources.
CAMEO Chemical Web Portal (NOAA) - An easy-to-use, online tool for emergency responders and planners. Search an extensive chemical database. View critical response information. Predict chemical reactivity.
Centre of Documentation, Research and Experimentation on Accidental Water pollution (Cedre) - Cedre is a non-profit-making association acting as an operator for the French State. It was created in 1978, in the aftermath of the Amoco Cadiz oil spill, in a bid to be more fully prepared for accidental water pollution and to strengthen the national response organisation. It is responsible, on a national scale, for documentation, research and experimentation on pollutants, their effects and the response means and tools that can be used to combat them. Its role as an advisory body and its expertise encompass both marine and inland waters. It is financed both by government subsidies and by public and private contracts.
Cleanup Oil - International directory of oil spill cleanup contrators, The Little Black Book. The book typically spans over 120 pages, and lists the contact details of over 1,000 oil spill clean up contractors in 50 countries. Also see Links page for listings of environmental agencies in U.S. and around the world.
Ecological Monitoring of Accidental Water Pollution - Guide produced by the Centre of Documentation, Research and Experimentation on Accidental Water Pollution (Cedre) as part of its technical programme, with financial support from the French Ministry of the Environment and the company Total Fina Elf.
European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) - The Agency's main objective is to provide technical and scientific assistance to the European Commission and Member States in the proper development and implementation of EU legislation on maritime safety, pollution by ships and security on board ships.
Exxon ValdezOil Spill Trustee Council Restoration Program - Detailed information on the environmental impact of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the restoration activities, and the recovery status of injured species and resources. It contains a bibliography of 288 journal articles on Trustee Council funded research, a list of the 240 final and annual reports on damage assessment and restoration projects, and photographs.
Global Marine Oil Pollution Information Gateway - The objective of the Global Marine Oil Pollution Information Gateway - which is the oil pollution node of the UNEP GPA Clearing-House Mechanism - is to establish a clearing-house, a gateway, for providing information on and a forum for exchange of information on the global, regional and local problems caused by marine oil pollution. Here one will find information on the efforts made by the international community to address the problem, and find ways to take preventive action on the global, regional and national level. Also see Documents on Oil and Facts on Oil.
London Convention and Protocol - The Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter 1972, the London Convention for short, is one of the first global conventions to protect the marine environment from human activities and has been in force since 1975.
MARPOL - The main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes. It is a combination of two treaties adopted in 1973 and 1978 respectively and also includes the Protocol of 1997 (Annex VI). It has been updated by amendments through the years.
International Convention Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties (INTERVENTION), 1969
Protocol on Preparedness, Response and Co-operation to pollution Incidents by Hazardous and Noxious Substances, 2000 (OPRC-HNS Protocol)
International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPC) - Part of an international regime of liability and compensation for oil pollution damage caused by oil spills from tankers. Under the regime the owner of a tanker is liable to pay compensation up to a certain limit for oil pollution damage following an escape of persistent oil from his ship. If that amount does not cover all the admissible claims, further compensation is available from the 1992 Fund if the damage occurs in a State which is a Member of that Fund. Additional compensation may also be available from the Supplementary Fund if the State is a Member of that Fund as well. There are at present three IOPC Funds: the 1971 Fund, the 1992 Fund and the Supplementary Fund. These three intergovernmental organisations were established at different times (1978, 1996 and 2005 respectively), have different maximum amounts of compensation and have different Member States. The membership of the 1992 Fund is increasing. The Supplementary Fund was established to supplement the compensation available under the 1992 Civil Liability and Fund Conventions with an additional third tier of compensation. Membership of the Supplementary Fund is optional and any State which is a Member of the 1992 Fund may join. The membership of the Supplementary Fund is expected to increase fairly quickly. Due to a number of denunciations of the 1971 Fund Convention, this Convention ceased to be in force on 24 May 2002 and the 1971 Fund therefore no longer has any Member States.
International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Limited (ITOPF) - Comprehensive website on oil spill response, including news, events, country and regional profiles, historical data, fate and effects, cleanup techniques, response strategies, costs, planning, compensation, further information (with many useful links), designated person survey. ITOPF's technical advisers have attended on-site at over 500 oil spills in 90 countries. Also see ITOPF Spill Statistics.
NOAA Office of Response and Restoration - A center of expertise in preparing for, evaluating, and responding to threats to coastal environments, including oil and chemical spills, releases from hazardous waste sites, and marine debris. Also see ADIOS, NOAA's oil weathering model.
National Pollution Funds Center (NPFC-USCG) - Created to implement Title I of the Oil Pollution Act (OPA), which addressed issues associated with preventing, responding to, and paying for oil pollution. Title I of OPA established oil spill liability and compensation requirements, including the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF) to pay for expeditious oil removal and uncompensated damages. The primary objectives of OPA, Title I, are: (1) To ensure adequate funds to provide for a rapid and effective federal response to a discharge, (2) To implement a compensation mechanism (claims process) to pay those damaged by discharges when the liable responsible party does not pay, and (3) To establish a liability and compensation regime that serves as a deterrent to potential responsible parties for oil spills and establish a mechanism (Certificates of Financial Responsibility or COFRs) to ensure that owners and operators of certain vessels have funds to pay for oil spill removal and damages up to certain limits. See Onlines Services, Forms, Publications, and Regulations pages. Also see:
Certificates of Financial Responsibility (COFRs) - Contains information on the vessels that have been issued COFRs. The data contained therein is updated daily (M-F) as vessels are added or deleted from the list. The site also permits users to apply for, renew, change, and pay for COFR applications via the Web through the E-COFR application.
Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) - The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2701-2761) amended the Clean Water Act and addressed the wide range of problems associated with preventing, responding to, and paying for oil pollution incidents in navigable waters of the United States. It created a comprehensive prevention, response, liability, and compensation regime to deal with vessel- and facility-caused oil pollution to U.S. navigable waters. OPA greatly increased federal oversight of maritime oil transportation, while providing greater environmental safeguards.
Oil Spill Claims - If you have been adversely affected by an oil spill, you may be able to receive compensation. The Oil Pollution Act (OPA) defines the conditions under which you may recover costs and damages.
Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF) - The OSLTF has two major components: 1) The Emergency Fund is available for Federal On-Scene Coordinators (FOSCs) to respond to discharges and for federal trustees to initiate natural resource damage assessments. The Emergency Fund is a recurring $50 million available to the President annually. 2) The remaining Principal Fund balance is used to pay claims and to fund appropriations by Congress to Federal agencies to administer the provisions of OPA and support research and development.
National Spill Control School - Offers specialized hands-on training for those in the oil spill, HAZMAT and emergency management industries. The NSCS is a part of Texas A&M University's College of Science and Technology and is located on campus in beautiful Corpus Christi, Texas. Known as "The Island University", this Gulf Coast location allows for year-round hands-on training.
Association of Petroleum Industry Cooperative Managers (APICOM) - Dedicated to exchanging information related to the management of an oil spill response cooperative. It also serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas related to oil spill response technologies, operations, regulations and other issues of common interest to its members.
International Spill Control Organisation (ISCO) - Seeking to raise worldwide preparedness and co-operation in response to oil and chemical spills, to promote technical development and professional competency, and to provide a focus for making the knowledge and experience of spill control professionals available to IMO, UNEP, EC and other organisations.
Islands' Oil Spill Association - A non-profit, community-based oil spill response organization that provides prompt, effective, local oil spill response and prevention throughout San Juan County in Washington state.
Norwegian Oil Spill Control Association (NOSCA) - A a non-profit cooperative of companies, R&D institutions and government pollution control authority SFT, established to develop equipment and contingency planning for oil spill emergencies.
Spill Control Association of America (SCAA) - Represents spill response contractors, manufacturers, distributors, consultants, instructors, government & training institutions and corporations working in the industry.
SYCOPOL - A French organisation comprising equipment manufacturers and service providers engaged in pollution control.
UKSpill Association - National body for the UK oil spill industry. UKSpill represents its members and has a role on a variety of national bodies such as the DEFRA Hazardous Waste Forum, and the MCGA National Contingency Plan.
Oil Spill Task Force (The Pacific States-British Columbia) - The Pacific States / British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force was authorized by a Memorandum of Cooperation signed in 1989 by the Governors of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California and the Premier of British Columbia following the Nestucca and Exxon Valdez oil spills. These events highlighted common concerns regarding oil spill risks and the need for cooperation across shared borders. In June 2001 a revisedMemorandum of Cooperation was adopted to include the State of Hawaii and expand its focus to spill preparedness and prevention needs of the 21st century.
Safe Seas - U.S. multiagency field exercise lead by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) in collaboration with U.S. Coast Guard, California Office of Spill Prevention and Response, Harley Marine Services, and the Department of Interior that took place in 2006. Vessels and aircraft from NOAA, the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Air Force Reserve, Marine Spill Response Corporation, Alameda County Sheriff's Department, and Bodega Marine Laboratory participated in the exercise. Additionally, the Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System activated new surface current mapping radar in support of exercise data requirements.
Ship Escort Response Vessel System (SERVS) - This site, maintained by Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, describes the SERVS system (a system that escorts oil tankers through Prince William Sound in Alaska) and spill prevention and response.
Transboundary Accidental Water Pollution, Liability and Compensation: Challenges and Opportunities (May 2007) - Background document prepared for a UNECE workshop held in Budapest. The first part of the document describes several environmental pollution cases in detail, mainly from the past decade. The second part of the document summarises the development of European and international environmental law as a consequence of the recent pollution cases. The third part of the document describing the different liability regimes. First, the work of the International Law Commission is introduced and their related draft articles on international liability for injurious consequences arising from acts not prohibited by international law (prevention of transboundary damage from hazardous activities) is summarised. The forth part of the document tries to collect answers why there are problems with the general liability regimes and what these problems are. The attached annexes provide a brief glossary of terms on liability for those who are not legal specialist and useful information on the parties to the different conventions and protocols, enlist the related cases and contain the list of documents used for the preparation of the present document.
U.S. Agencies - National agencies in U.S. dealing with spill response and regulation:
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) - The BLM is responsible for carrying out a variety of programs for the management and conservation, of resources on 258 million surface acres, as well as 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estate, These public lands make up about 13 percent of the total land surface of the United States and more than 40 percent of all land managed by the Federal government.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Oil Program - Provides information about the U.S. EPA's program for preventing, preparing for, and responding to oil spills that occur in and around inland waters of the United States. EPA's oil program has a long history of responding to oil spills, including several major oil spills, and the lessons learned have helped to improve prevention and response capabilities. The Oil Program is administered through EPA headquarters and the 10 EPA Regions.
National Response Framework (NRF) - Presents the guiding principles that enable all response partners to prepare for and provide a unified national response to disasters and emergencies. It establishes a comprehensive, national, all-hazards approach to domestic incident response.
National Response Team (NRT) - Provides technical assistance, resources and coordination on preparedness, planning, response and recovery activities for emergencies involving hazardous substances, pollutants and contaminants, hazmat, oil, and weapons of mass destruction in natural and technological disasters and other environmental incidents of national significance.
National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB): Marine Safety - The NTSB investigates major marine accidents on navigable waters of the United States, involving U.S. merchant vessels in international waters, and collisions involving U.S. public and nonpublic vessels. In addition, it investigates selected marine accidents that involve public transportation or those of a recurring nature
OHMSETT - U.S. test facility: The only facility where full-scale oil spill response equipment testing, research, and training can be conducted in a marine environment with oil under controlled environmental conditions (waves, temperature, oil types). The facility provides an environmentally safe place to conduct objective testing and to develop devices and techniques for the control of oil and hazardous material spills. The facility, located an hour south of New York City, in Leonardo, New Jersey, is maintained and operated by the Department of Interior Minerals Management Service (MMS) through a contract with MAR, Incorporated of Rockville, Maryland.
Technology Assessment & Research (TA&R) Program - Oil Spill Response and Research (OSRR) Program - Testing prototype booms that contain and recover more oil faster. It is also striving to determine the thickness of spills with airborne sensors and remote-sensing devices. The MMS is the principal United States federal agency that through the Oil Spill Response Research (OSRR) Program, funds oil spill response research. For more than 25 years, MMS has maintained a comprehensive, long-term research program to improve oil spill response technologies. The major focus of the program is to improve the knowledge and technologies used for the detection, containment and cleanup of oil spills that may occur on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.
National Response Center (USCG-NRC) - The sole U.S. federal point of contact for reporting oil and chemical spills. If you have a spill to report, contact NRC via its toll-free number or check out its Web Site for additional information on reporting requirements and procedures. For those without 800 access, contact the NRC at 202.267.2675. The NRC operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Note; When a spill occurs in U.S. waters, the responsible company and the Coast Guard's NRC notify the federal on-scene response coordinator and state officials. The responsible company then activates its response plan, and the NRC ensures that the responsible company is properly carrying out the activities in the plan. The federal on-scene response coordinator may also provide resources if it is determined that more are required or the responsible company is not responding adequately. If the spill is large, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Department of Interior may be contacted for additional assistance.
National Strike Force (USCG - NSF) - The NSF provides highly trained, experienced personnel and specialized equipment to Coast Guard and other federal agencies to facilitate preparedness for and response to oil and hazardous substance pollution incidents in order to protect public health and the environment. The NSF's area of responsibility covers all Coast Guard Districts and Federal Response Regions. The NSF totals over 200 active duty, civilian, reserve, and auxiliary personnel and includes the National Strike Force Coordination Center (NSFCC); the Atlantic Strike Team; the Gulf Strike Team; the Pacific Strike Team; and the Public Information Assist Team (PIAT).
Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) - Provides active monitoring and navigational advice for vessels in particularly confined and busy waterways. There are two main types of VTS, surveilled and non-surveilled. Surveilled systems consist of one or more land-based sensors (i.e. radar, AIS and closed circuit television sites), which output their signals to a central location where operators monitor and manage vessel traffic movement. Non-surveilled systems consist of one or more reporting points at which ships are required to report their identity, course, speed, and other data to the monitoring authority. They encompass a wide range of techniques and capabilities aimed at preventing vessel collisions, rammings, and groundings in the harbor, harbor approach and inland waterway phase of navigation. They are also designed to expedite ship movements, increase transportation system efficiency, and improve all-weather operating capability.
World Vessel Traffic Services Guide (World VTS Guide) - Provides shipmasters and other users with the information necessary to enter a VTS area, and subsequently to comply with its requirements, thereby optimising efficiency and enhancing safety. The World VTS Guide has been designed to give Masters of ships, navigators, and interested persons, clear and concise diagrammatic and written information regarding the navigational requirements of the VTS Centres of the world. Particular attention has been paid to communications requirements, the World VTS Guide being designed to be used in close proximity to the onboard VHF set.
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