Contingency & Response Planning

The responsibility for clean-up onshore and offshore may lie with different organisations. Here soldiers and civil protection workers recover fuel oil.

Careful planning is essential to effectively prepare for oil spills. Developing a strategy and an operational plan before the event will result in a far more efficient and considered response. The process of producing a contingency plan identifies roles and responsibilities, priorities for protection, effective response strategies and operational procedures without the added pressure of a real spill incident. A well exercised contingency plan promotes trained and practised personnel, and maximises the preparedness of the organisations and individuals involved in a response.

Once a response to an oil spill has been initiated, continuous planning remains an important process to guide operations and monitor their effectiveness. It ensures that response techniques are adaptive to reflect changing circumstances inherent to the nature of marine oil spills. Aerial surveillance is an important element of planning during a response, and can establish the scale and nature of an incident at an early stage. Once a response is underway, aerial surveillance can be used to guide, monitor, and evaluate the effectiveness of operations.


Explore Documents on Contingency & Response Planning

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TIP 10: Leadership, command & management of oil spills

This paper considers many of the situations encountered in a response to ship-source pollution and explains how effective leadership, command and management can maximise the success of response operations. Many of the subjects touched on are discussed in greater detail in other ITOPF papers in this series, as listed on the back cover, but in particular, the paper on Contingency Planning for Marine Oil Spills.

Categories: Technical Information Paper (TIPS) , Planning & operations

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TIP 14: Sampling and monitoring of marine oil spills

This paper provides a broad overview of the monitoring and sampling procedures that can be used for qualitative and quantitative monitoring of oil contamination. While qualitative analyses can confirm the source of oil contamination, monitoring programmes are often concerned with the quantitative changes in hydrocarbon levels over time. Guidance on analytical best practice is given and common terminology is explained. However, the techniques and observations required to monitor specific ecological or biological effects and to monitor contaminants in the air are beyond the scope of this paper.

Categories: Technical Information Paper (TIPS) , Environmental effects, Planning & operations

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TIP 16: Contingency planning for marine oil spills

This paper outlines the typical format and content of contingency plans for response to ship-source spills and highlights the key steps required for an effective plan.

Categories: Technical Information Paper (TIPS) , Planning & operations

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To carry or not to carry? Onboard spill response equipment - Is it practicable? (1998)

The question as to whether oil tankers should carry oil spill response equipment onboard has been the subject of debate for many years. The idea received considerable attention in the previous decade during the preparation of regulations by the United States Coast Guard as a result of the US Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA'90).

Categories: Papers , Response Techniques, Planning & operations

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To remove or not to remove? Dealing with pollution risks from ship wrecks (2017)

Based on ITOPF’s extensive experience providing advice on pollution mitigation and environmental risks posed by wrecks, this paper examines recent issues in the treatment of wrecks. The authors highlight some key concerns regarding the equitable treatment of wrecks and argue that a more rigorous, technically-based decision making process be adopted and promoted to ensure clarity and consistency for all parties.

Categories: Papers , Planning & operations

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