IN THE U.S. ARCTIC
Committee on Responding to Oil Spills in the U.S. Arctic Marine Environment
Ocean Studies Board
Division of Earth and Life Studies
Polar Research Board
Division of Earth and Life Studies
Transportation Research Board
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS • 500 Fifth Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
Funding for this study was provided by the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, the American Petroleum Institute under grant number 2011-105958, the U.S. Coast Guard under cooperative agreement number DTMA1H11001, U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management under purchase order number M11PX00116 and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement under purchase order number E12PX00061, the Marine Mammal Commission under purchase order number DC-260-79EC085782, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under contract number WC133R-11-CQ-0048, the Oil Spill Recovery Institute under grant number 12-10-02, and the National Academy of Sciences. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-29886-5
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-29886-5
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2014942825
Cover photograph provided by Richard Glenn, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine
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COMMITTEE ON RESPONDING TO OIL SPILLS IN ARCTIC MARINE
MARTHA R. GRABOWSKI, Chair, Le Moyne College, Syracuse, New York, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York
THOMAS COOLBAUGH, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, Fairfax, Virginia
DAVID F. DICKINS, DF Dickins Associates, LLC, La Jolla, California
RICHARD GLENN, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, Barrow, Alaska
KENNETH LEE, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia
WILLIAM (LEE) MAJORS, Alaska Clean Seas, Prudhoe Bay
MARK D. MYERS, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
BRENDA L. NORCROSS, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
MARK REED, SINTEF, Norway
BRIAN SALERNO,1 BIMCO, Washington, D.C.
ROBERT SUYDAM, North Slope Borough, Barrow, Alaska
JAMES M. TIEDJE (NAS), Michigan State University, East Lansing
MARY LOUISE TIMMERMANS, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
PETER WADHAMS, Cambridge University, United Kingdom
POLAR RESEARCH BOARD LIAISONS
MOLLY McCAMMON, Alaska Ocean Observing System, Anchorage
CARYN REA, ConocoPhillips, Anchorage, Alaska
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL STAFF
DEBORAH GLICKSON, Senior Program Officer
LAUREN BROWN, Associate Program Officer, Polar Research Board
STACEE KARRAS, Research Associate
HEATHER CHIARELLO, Senior Program Assistant (until April 2013)
PAYTON KULINA, Program Assistant (from June 2013)
1 Resigned from the committee.
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Balance. This is an important word in the Arctic, an area that serves as an integrator of many of the Earth’s large-scale systems and processes, and also an area where choices made have substantial impact on the Arctic and its neighbors. Many competing forces coexist and collide in the Arctic: harsh environmental conditions, economic drivers, science and technology capabilities, logistical and infrastructure challenges, ecosystem protection needs, food security concerns, and the needs of traditional cultures and societies. Balancing the needs and requirements of these forces is part of the challenge and opportunity presented in the complex, large-scale system that is the Arctic.
Within this context, the National Research Council was asked by eight sponsors who represent many of these drivers to consider the adequacy and sufficiency of resources, technology, research, human resources, funding, and logistics to respond to an Arctic oil spill. The committee sought to balance in its work traditional and scientific knowledge of the Arctic and of oil spill response operations, engineering, technology, policies, procedures, and equipment. It considered the needs and concerns of the committee’s sponsors; government, public, private, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations; citizens and organizations with Arctic interests; and the needs and interests of Arctic inhabitants. The committee also considered lessons learned from events and case studies from oil spill response efforts around the world.
The committee’s work was enhanced by the participation and input provided by a number of individuals, organizations, and groups, many of whom are listed elsewhere in this report. The committee solicited input from workshop participants, speakers, and experts across the spectrum of traditional knowledge, science, engineering, vessel and oil spill operations, and regulatory and government affairs. The committee’s work was also enhanced by the insight, experience, and collegiality of its globally distributed members, as it followed the tenets of an earlier National Research Council (1996) report, to “get the science right and get the right science; to get the participation right and get the right participation; and to develop an inclusive and thoughtful analytic-deliberative process.” The result is a report that considers the adequacy of and needs for oil spill response in the U.S. Arctic, drawing on the wisdom and expertise of many in and of the Arctic, and that considers significant challenges in an important ecosystem.
It was my privilege to work with our committee; our project sponsors; our study director,
Deb Glickson; Polar Research Board Associate Program Officer Lauren Brown; Ocean Studies Board Director Susan Roberts; Marine Board Directors Joedy Cambridge and Scott Brotemarkle; and the rest of the National Academies staff during the course of this study. Thank you all for sharing your wisdom and insight. May we meet again in future endeavors.
M. Grabowski, Chair
Committee on Responding to Oil Spills in the
U.S. Arctic Marine Environment
This report was greatly enhanced by the participants of meetings held as part of this study. The committee would like to acknowledge those who gave presentations at committee meetings: Bill Adams (Remote Energy Security Technologies Collaborative [RESTCo]), Doug Baird (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA]), Geoff Baker (Crowley Maritime Corporation), Mary Baker (NOAA), Lawson Brigham (University of Alaska, Fairbanks [UAF]), Christy Bohl (Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement), Gene Brooks (Maersk Line, Ltd.), Harry Brower, Jr. (North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management), Larry Dietrick (Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation), Hajo Eicken (UAF), Michael Faust (ConocoPhillips), Jeffrey Ferguson (NOAA), Adrian Gall (ABR, Inc.), Larry Hinzman (UAF), Charles Hopson, John Hopson, Jr. (Wainwright Public Works), Christopher Ives (RESTCo), Christopher Krenz (Oceana), Nettie La Belle-Hamer (UAF), Joe LoSciuto (ASRC Energy Services), Joe Mello Leavitt, Amy Merten (NOAA), Vince Mitchell (Lamor Corporation), RADM Thomas Ostebo (U.S. Coast Guard), Ed Owens (Owens Coastal Consultants, Ltd.), Ed Page (Marine Exchange of Alaska), Shirish Patil (UAF), Vladimir Romanovsky (UAF), Stan Senner (Ocean Conservancy), Gay Sheffield (UAF), Kirk Sherwood (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management), Brad Smith (NOAA), Mark Swanson (Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council), Fran Ulmer (U.S. Arctic Research Commission), Peter van Tuyn (World Wildlife Fund), Peter Velez (Peter Velez Engineering LLC), Glen Watabayashi (NOAA), Thomas Weingartner (UAF), and Peter Winsor (UAF).
The committee would also like to thank Karissa Goessl and Patrick Curtin of LeMoyne College, who assisted at the committee’s third meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska.
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the
integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in their review of this report:
PER JOHAN BRANDVIK, SINTEF Marine Environmental Technology
LAWSON BRIGHAM, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
BILL EICHBAUM, World Wildlife Fund
JOHN FARRINGTON, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
JACQUELINE GREBMEIER, University of Maryland
MOLLY McCAMMON, Alaska Ocean Observing System
HUMPHREY MELLING, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
JOSEPH MULLIN, Joseph Mullin Consulting
PARTHA PATRA, Columbia University
STEPHEN POTTER, SL Ross Environmental Research Ltd.
PONISSERIL SOMASUNDARAN (NAE), Columbia University
WILFORD WEEKS (NAE), University of Alaska, Fairbanks (emeritus)
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by RADM Malcolm MacKinnon (NAE), MacKinnon-Searle Consortium LLC, appointed by the Divison on Earth and Life Studies, and Bonnie McCay (NAS), Rutgers University, appointed by the Report Review Committee, who were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
2 Environmental Conditions and Natural Resources in the U.S. Arctic
3 Arctic Oil Spill Response Research
4 Operations, Logistics, and Coordination in an Arctic Oil Spill
5 Strategies for Response and Mitigation
A Committee and Staff Biographies
B National Research Council Board Rosters
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Scenarios, Boxes, Figures, and Tables
1 Passenger cruise ship accident
3 Bulk ore carrier driven onshore in bad weather
5 Break in subsea pipeline from nearshore production
7 Structural failure of an oil storage tank
1.1 Select oil spills and maritime accidents of interest
2.1 Examples of risks associated with oil spill response due to weather conditions
4.1 Organizational lessons learned from the grounding of the Kulluk
S.1 Location map of Alaska and the continental United States
S.2 Location map of Alaska and U.S. Arctic waters
1.1 Location map of Alaska and the continental United States
1.2 Location map of Alaska and U.S. Arctic waters
1.3 Oil and gas planning areas in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas
2.1 Water masses and sea ice extent in Bering Strait and Chukchi and Beaufort Seas
2.2 Monthly average temperatures at the Barrow Automated Surface Observing System
2.3 Cross-section of typical Beaufort Sea ice zones
2.4 Segment of a MODIS image of the Chukchi coast
2.5 MODIS image showing ice clearing in the Chukchi Sea
2.6 Plans for additional nautical charts in the Arctic
2.7 Visualization of the eastern Chukchi Sea food web
2.8 Distribution of select fish species in U.S. Arctic waters
2.9 Distribution of select bird species in the U.S. Arctic
2.10 Distribution of whales in U.S. Arctic waters
2.11 Distribution of walrus, sea lions, and polar bears in U.S. Arctic waters
3.2 Environmental processes that affect oil behavior and weathering in open water and ice
4.2 Relationship between Incident Command System and Unified Command
4.3 Infrastructure and shipping routes in the U.S. Arctic
5.1 Example of a tiered response system
3.1 Chemical and physical changes to crude oil from weathering
3.2 Illustration of the impacts of ice and snow on spreading rates of oil
3.3 Beaufort and Chukchi Sea oil spill volumes modeled by BOEM
3.4 Overview of remote sensing systems for detection of oil in ice