Understanding Oil Spills and Oil Spill Response

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The Office, 1993 - 47 pages

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Page 37 - ... US history and tested the abilities of local, national, and industrial organizations to prepare for, and respond to, a disaster of such magnitude. Many factors complicated the cleanup efforts following the spill. The size of the spill and its remote location, accessible only by helicopter and boat, made government and industry efforts difficult and tested existing plans for dealing with such an event.
Page 37 - On March 24, 1989, shortly after midnight, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling more than 1 1 million gallons of crude oil. The spill was the largest in US history and tested the abilities of local, national, and industrial organizations to prepare for, and respond to, a disaster of such magnitude. Many factors complicated the cleanup efforts following the spill. The size of the spill and its remote location, accessible...
Page 41 - Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Page 41 - Repairs were time-consuming. Transferring oil from temporary storage vessels into more permanent containers was also difficult because of the oil's weight and thickness.
Page 1 - Each type of oil has distinct physical properties that affect the way it spreads and breaks down, the hazard it may pose to marine (and human life), and the likelihood that it will pose a threat to natural and manmade resources. The rate at which an oil spill spreads will determine its effect on the environment. Most oils tend to spread horizontally into a smooth and slippery surface, called a "slick,
Page 41 - The use of dispersants was controversial. Alyeska had less than 4,000 gallons of dispersant available at its terminal in Valdez, and no application equipment or aircraft. A private company applied dispersants on March 24 with a helicopter and dispersant bucket. Because there was not enough wave action to mix the...
Page 41 - A fire-resistant boom was placed on tow lines, and two ends of the boom were each attached to a ship. The two ships with the boom between them moved slowly through the main portion of the slick until the boom was full of oil. The two ships then towed the boom away from the slick and the oil was ignited. The fire did not endanger the main slick or the Exxon Valdez because of the distance separating them.
Page 41 - Transferring oil from temporary storage vessels into more permanent containers was also difficult because of the oil's weight and thickness. Continued bad weather slowed down the recovery efforts.
Page 4 - When fur or feathers come into contact with oil, they get matted down. This matting causes fur and feathers to lose their insulating properties, placing animals at risk of freezing to death. As the complex structure of the feathers that allows birds to float becomes damaged, the risk of drowning increases for birds.

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