Article in Beacon (Skuld Newsletter), July 2001
The concept of persistence in relation to oil spills probably originated after the Torrey Canyon incident in 1967. This is when discussions first arose regarding various new measures to protect the marine environment and to manage marine oil spills, particularly in relation to liability and compensation. During this initial time, the primary concern following an oil pollution incident was in relation to cleanup and so attention was focused on "black" oils that did not break down readily after a spill and because such oils 'persisted' long enough in the environment to warrant some form of response. This article describes the characteristics of persistent vs non-persistent oils and looks at the definitions established by the IOPC Fund.