An oil slick has just been reported off your port city. It's estimated to be about 1 square kilometer in area, and to contain about 1,000 barrels of oil. An initial trajectory forecast shows that the slick is predicted to arrive at a nearby sensitive area within 10 hours (a sensitive area is a location especially vulnerable to harm from oiling, such as a seabird nesting area, historical site, or feeding ground where birds or wildlife congregate).
You need to decide how to allocate your response resources to remove as much of the spilled oil from the sea surface as possible before the slick reaches the sensitive site. You want to evaluate three approaches:
- applying dispersant to disperse the oil into the water column.
- using in situ burning to burn off oil from the slick.
- using skimmers to mechanically remove oil from the sea surface.
In these exercises developed by NOAA, you will use Spill Tools, a collection of three tools you can use to assess how effectively you can recover, remove, or disperse spilled oil using:
- mechanical equipment, such as skimmers, to remove oil from the sea surface.
- in situ burning, to burn off freshly spilled oil.
- chemical dispersants, to disperse the spilled oil throughout the water column.
Spill Tools was designed to help you to complete tasks like:
- selecting and staging response equipment, such as skimmers, fire boom, and dispersant applicators.
- deploying your equipment as effectively as possible.
- comparing the performance you might get from different kinds of equipment or deployment strategies.
ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION AND TEACHING MATERIALS
Spill Tools: An Oil Spill Response Exercise (pdf)
Spill Tools: Fact Sheet - Basic information about Spill Tools in a one-page fact sheet (pdf)