Oil Spills First Principles

Oil Spills First Principles

Prevention and Best Response

1st Edition - June 1, 2002

Write a review

  • Editors: B. Ornitz†, M. Champ
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080537962

Purchase options

Purchase options
DRM-free (PDF)
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out

Institutional Subscription

Free Global Shipping
No minimum order


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

  • Preface.
    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.

Product details

  • No. of pages: 678
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier Science 2002
  • Published: June 1, 2002
  • Imprint: Elsevier Science
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080537962

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

Ratings and Reviews

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for "Oil Spills First Principles"