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Oil Spills First Principles - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780080428147, 9780080537962

Oil Spills First Principles

1st Edition

Prevention and Best Response

Editors: B. Ornitz† M. Champ
eBook ISBN: 9780080537962
Imprint: Elsevier Science
Published Date: 1st June 2002
Page Count: 678
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Marine oil spills are no longer considered unavoidable "accidents" resulting from adverse environmental conditions or functions of catastrophic events. More than 80% of all spills are the result of "human error". The focus of the current legal, regulatory, and convention framework affecting the transportation of oil by ship reflects a recent change in public attitude, in which there is an insistence upon protection of the world¿s marine environments, particularly coastal ecosystems. The outcome of such global attention is the creation of significant legal and political motivators for a cultural shift by the oil shipping industry, from an "evasion culture" to a "safety culture". The new safety culture connotes continuous improvement in ship operations and a willingness to adopt the evolving concepts of communication at all levels, better trained and qualified personnel on board ship, emphasis of safety from top down, and proactive institution of safety management systems. Mere compliance with international and national laws is no longer sufficient for future sustainable shipping. These changes and advancements in understanding the science and engineering of oil spills are the focus of this book on Oil Spills First Principles. They are Prevention, based upon adoption of the safety culture, and Best Response, utilizing scientific, technical and environmental data and information.

Over the past 30 years, billions of US dollars have been spent in R&D planning, response and clean up of oil spills. All of these efforts have focused on achieving Best Response. The concept of time periods of "Technology Windows-of-Opportunity" for a given response and clean up technology has developed from the leadership and wisdom of researchers and responders from many nations using modeling of the weathering of spilled oil and technology effectiveness. The Windows-of-Opportunity strategy provides a scientific basis for policy and decision-making in oil spill planning, response, and training.

A global paradigm shift is needed to more effectively utilize and expedite the application of lessons learned in both prevention and clean up. Recognition of economic, political, and legal benefits accruing from environmental protection is good for business and critical for sustainable shipping.


Professionals in oil spill response. Environmental managers in petroleum companies. Personnel in government agencies. Coast Guard and maritime safety organizations. Lawyers involved in civil/criminal environmental liability. Insurance industry, shipping industry and national and international associations. International classification societies. Personnel in oil spill response companies. Personnel in oil transport/shipping business.
Protection and indemnity clubs. Personnel in policy, regulation, and legislation. Environmental organizations and environmentalists. Educators and researchers, including as text for oil spill training and management (graduate level, or special seminar courses).

Table of Contents

1. The problem - oil spills.
1.1. Freedom of the seas - developing law.
1.2. Major oil spill rates.
1.3. Environmental damage - the debate.
1.4. Reoccurrence of spills: root causes/risk factors.
1.5. Available oil spill response technologies: limiting factors.
1.6. Other limiting factors: lack of integration of science and engineering, coordination in planning and training.
2. The need and the solution.
2.1. Prevention through people - the human element.
2.2. Oil spill response: "Best Response".
2.3. Best response - the US model for oil spill response.
2.4. Best response - the international oil spill response model - OPRC Convention.
2.5. Efficient and effective response - gaps in delivery, enforcement, funding and perception.
2.6. Scientific challenges.
3. The motivators for change related to oil spills.
3.1. Reducing response costs.
3.2. Reducing environmental damage.
3.3. True cost accounting.
3.4. Protection of the environment is good for business.
3.5. Adherence to laws: ISM Code/Right to Trade.
3.6. The consumer and the political system - public voice.
4. Legislation and regulation.
4.1. The safety nets.
4.2. Regulation of oil spills - control by international conventions.
4.3. US and international regulations; and the courts.
5. Regulatory model - Australia.
6. The marriage between science and technology.
6.1. Failures of present oil spill contingency planning, response, education and training strategies.
6.2. The need for a scientifically-based decision-making tool.
6.3. Best response.
7. The technology windows-of-opportunity oil spill response strategy.
7.0. Technology windows-of-opportunity.
7.1. Examples of technology windows-of-opportunity.
7.2. Universality of application.
7.3. Required databases.
7.4. Oil spill detection and monitoring by remote sensing advanced technologies.
7.5. Integration of the databases and information into an oil spill response decision-making tool.
8. Sustainable shipping.


No. of pages:
© Elsevier Science 2002
1st June 2002
Elsevier Science
eBook ISBN:

About the Editors

B. Ornitz†

Affiliations and Expertise

P.O. Box 2710, Aspen, CO 81612, USA

M. Champ

Affiliations and Expertise

P.O. Box 2439, Falls Church, VA 22042-3934, USA

Reviews will be a valuable source for professionals in oil spill response and oil transport/shipping business.
@source:International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry
@qu:...Multidisciplinary book addresses timely issues. A new publication, Oil Spills First Principles: Prevention & Best Response, combines the expertise of an attorney and a prominent scientist to address various aspects of multidisciplinary issues currently facing the industry. With a review of different international conventions, US laws, and policy considerations as a foundation, the authors delineate regulatory strategies as well as the use of better science, engineering, technology, policy, and law in oil spill prevention and best response. ...changes and advancements in understanding the science and engineering of oil spills are the focus of Oil Spills First Principles.
@source:Oil Spill Intelligence Report
@from:J.K. Borchardt
@qu:...For those working on oil spill response technology and those concerned with understanding environmental concerns, particularly how past major oil spills could have been responded to more effectively, this is an excellent text.
@source:The Alchemist
@from:J.G. Speight
@qu:...The book is well written with sufficient detail to appeal to a variety of professionals, including professions involved in oil spill response, environmental managers in petroleum companies and government agencies, Coast Guard and maritime safety organizations, and legal and technical personnel in oil spill response companies. The test is also suitable for oil spill training and management (graduate level, or special seminar courses).
@source:Energy Sources
@from:J.B. Pearce
@qu:...The volume by Ornitz and Champ is truly a handbook. It will help one to report a spill, clean it up, and rehabilitate important fisheries habitats. Most importantly, it is useful in preventing spills, blowouts, and sinking of tankers. ...If you are a scientist or manager, concerned with oils in the ocean, you should have this volume handy after you read it. It is a textbook and a handbook worth its shelf space. It is well-edited, and has excellent references at the end of each chapter.
@source:Marine Pollution Bulletin

Ratings and Reviews