Oil Spill Planning in the Canadian Beaufort Sea Region
A recent workshop, Dispersant Use in the Canadian Beaufort Sea, held in Inuvik (Northwest Territories), provided major stakeholders with an understanding of chemical oil spill dispersants and considered the environmental effects and benefits of using dispersants to respond to oil spills in the Canadian Beaufort Sea. The workshop brought together major stakeholder groups in the region, including Inuvialuit communities, government agencies, and energy industry representatives, with the objective of providing the knowledge needed to participate effectively in oil spill response planning activities that are expected to occur in the near future.
Dr. Carl E. Brown of Environment Canada’s Emergencies Science and Technology Section delivered an invited presentation, “Oil Spill Dispersants – Evaluation and Scientific Support.” Dr. Brown reviewed oil spill research and development at Environment Canada, including research and evaluation of oil-treating agents, oil-spill countermeasures, dispersant guidelines, and the provision of scientific support to the lead agency and the Regional Environmental Emergency Team during actual oil spill emergencies.
Other subjects covered at the workshop included potential spills and associated environmental risks from offshore petroleum development; environmental protection priorities and spill response options; dispersant fundamentals, effectiveness, operation, and logistics; environmental considerations, net environmental benefit analysis, and existing dispersant policy, guidelines, and decision making.
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