BSEE Participates in Circumpolar Gap Analysis Workgroup
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement staff from the Oil Spill Preparedness Division attended an international workshop last month that focused on how Arctic meteorological and oceanographic conditions can affect traditional oil spill response strategies.
The Arctic Council's Emergency Prevention, Preparedness, and Response working group approved a project in late 2014 to study the effects of environmental factors such as wind, temperature, sea state, and ice coverage on traditional oil spill response tactics. Understanding how these environmental factors may constrain the use of mechanical recovery, in-situ burning, and dispersants, will help international emergency responders to better understand the risks posed by oil spills in high latitudes. This is the first study that unifies input from the eight Arctic nations. The current project is being co-led by the United States, Denmark, and Norway. Denmark hosted the Oct. 2015 workshop and invited 28 policy and research subject matter experts from government, non-government, and industry organizations.
The working group addresses various aspects of prevention, preparedness, and response to environmental emergencies in the Arctic. Working group members share information on best practices and conduct projects to develop guidance and risk assessment methodologies, response exercises and training specific to the Arctic.