Responding to Oil Spills in the Arctic EnvironmentK. Waddell, National Academy of Sciences
Scope of Work:
For this study, the National Research Council will assemble a volunteer ad hoc committee to assess the current state of the science regarding oil spill response and environmental assessment in the Arctic region, with emphasis on potential impacts in U. S, waters. The committee will develop existing decision tools and approaches that utilize a variety of spill response technologies under the types of conditions and spill scenarios encountered at high altitudes. The report will also review new and ongoing research activities in both the public and private sectors, identify opportunities and constraints for advancing oil spill research, describe promising new concepts and technologies for improving the response, including containment approaches to reduce spill volume and spatial extent, and recommend strategies to advance research and address information gaps. Finally, the committee will assess the types of baselines needed in the near term for monitoring the impacts of an oil spill and for developing plans for recovery and restoration following an oil spill in U. S waters.
Committee members will have expertise in the following areas: oil spill response and recovery, physical oceanography, ice conditions, Arctic ecology, and natural resources, marine engineering, maritime transportation, and maritime safety and risk assessment. These volunteers will be drawn from a pool of nominees, including those at universities, federal government laboratories, industry, and nongovernmental organizations.
This will be a two-year study. Funding has been received from the Arctic Research Commission, the American Petroleum Institute, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and the Marine Mammal Commission, in addition to the Oil Spill Recovery Institute. Additional funding is anticipated from the U. S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.