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.

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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Applying international standards in response to oil spills in remote areas (2014)

Applying international standards in response to oil spills in remote areas (2014)

This paper discusses the meaning of “international standards” for oil spill response in the context of remote operations. Practical examples are drawn from remote spills world-wide, including incidents in Tristan da Cunha, Madagascar, and Papua New Guinea.

Category: Africa, Americas, Oceania, Planning & operations, Papers

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Droning on: A review of UAV use in recent spills attended by ITOPF and considerations for the future (2018)

Droning on: A review of UAV use in recent spills attended by ITOPF and considerations for the future (2018)

This paper discusses the considerations for the use of UAVs at future oil spill incidents, based on its experience with other parties who have used the technology on site over a three year period, November 2014 to November 2017.

Category: Planning & operations, Papers

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International responsibilities: Are we our brothers' Keeper?  Oil spill preparedness and response: The role of industry (1997)

International responsibilities: Are we our brothers' Keeper? Oil spill preparedness and response: The role of industry (1997)

Government and the shipping and oil industries have invested heavily in creating and maintaining expensive oil spill response systems against a background of decreasing numbers of intermediate and major oil spills worldwide.

Category: Planning & operations, Papers

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Oil spills from floating production & storage craft: Contingency & response considerations (2006)

Oil spills from floating production & storage craft: Contingency & response considerations (2006)

As exploitation of undersea oil moves further offshore floating production and storage systems offer a cost-effective alternative to conventional fixed platforms and seabed pipelines. Floating systems come in a variety of designs but due to their versatility, FPSOs (Floating Production, Storage and Offloading units) are a particularly popular choice.

Category: Response Techniques, Planning & operations, Papers

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Responding to spills in remote locations (2012)

Responding to spills in remote locations (2012)

Over the years, ITOPF has regularly attended incidents in relatively remote locations with limited response capacities and/or limited contingency planning arrangements in place.

Category: Response Techniques, Planning & operations, Spill Response, Papers

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TIP 01: Aerial observation of marine oil spills

TIP 01: Aerial observation of marine oil spills

This paper presents advice and guidance on conducting effective aerial reconnaissance.

Category: Fate of Oil Spills, Response Techniques, Planning & operations, Spill Response, Technical Information Paper (TIPS)

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TIP 03: Use of booms in oil pollution response

TIP 03: Use of booms in oil pollution response

This paper describes the principles of boom design and the two main modes of operation, namely towing by vessels at sea and mooring in shallow or inshore waters.

Category: Response Techniques, Containment & Recovery, Planning & operations, Technical Information Paper (TIPS)

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TIP 05: Use of skimmers in oil pollution response

TIP 05: Use of skimmers in oil pollution response

This paper describes the fundamental requirements for the successful use of skimmers in the situations most likely to be encountered during an oil spill and should be read in conjunction with other ITOPF papers in this series, in particular, on the use of booms, shoreline clean-up techniques and the disposal of oil.

Category: Response Techniques, Containment & Recovery, Planning & operations, Technical Information Paper (TIPS)

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TIP 06: Recognition of oil on shorelines

TIP 06: Recognition of oil on shorelines

In cases of large spills, the source of stranded oil may be obvious, but the question of identification frequently arises when a small amount of oil is involved and compensation is sought for damage or clean-up costs. The purpose of this paper is to assist the reader in recognising both the type and quantity of oil on differing shorelines.

Category: Response Techniques, Planning & operations, Technical Information Paper (TIPS)

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TIP 09: Disposal of oil and debris

TIP 09: Disposal of oil and debris

This paper explores the various options available for the management of waste material generated as a result of ship-source oil spills in the marine environment.

Category: Planning & operations, Disposal, Technical Information Paper (TIPS)

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TIP 10: Leadership, command & management of oil spills

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.

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

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TIP 14: Sampling and monitoring of marine oil spills

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.

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

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TIP 16: Contingency planning for marine oil spills

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.

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

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

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).

Category: Response Techniques, Planning & operations, Papers

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

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.

Category: Planning & operations, Papers

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What makes a good response? (2014)

What makes a good response? (2014)

What defines a successful response? Is it dependent upon satisfying potential critics? Does it depend on money saved or spent? Is it defined by avoiding or mitigating pollution damage? Or is it all of these things?

Category: Planning & operations, Papers

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