Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/264352
www.uscg.mil/proceedings 26 Proceedings Winter 2013–2014 In response to the 1989 Exxon Valdez incident, Congress enacted the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which established the U.S. oil spill prevention, preparedness, and response framework and mandated vessel and facility response plan regulations. Moreover, as part of this massive regu- latory project, the U.S. Coast Guard and other members of the oil spill response community worked to quantify the effective daily recovery capacity (EDRC) that plan holders need to respond to various categories of oil spills, including a worst-case discharge. Developing a Planning Standard The 1992 fnal negotiated rulemaking contains the fol- lowing formula to calculate effective daily recovery capacity: R = T × 24 hours × E Where R = EDRC T = Throughput rate in barrels per hour E = 20 percent effciency factor (or lower factor as determined by the U.S. Coast Guard). This formula for effective daily recovery capacity has not changed since its institution in 1992. It is a simple method for plan holders to calculate their mechanical recovery equipment needs and provides an estimate of how many skimmers are required by regulation to respond to a worst-case discharge scenario for a facility or vessel. Furthermore, this regulation is a planning standard and is not intended to mirror skimmer system performance during an actual spill. The EDRC calculation method is an integral component of plan holder and oil spill response organization (OSRO) business models and has directly infuenced oil spill recovery equipment inven- tories. EDRC During Deepwater Horizon However, recent incidents have challenged the measure- ment's accuracy in determining oil spill response equip- ment needs. In particular, the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill certainly exposed its faws. For example, the effective daily recovery capacity on the scene during this incident not only far exceeded BP's oil spill response plan requirements, but it was also almost twice the fow rate for the Macondo well. Early on, the Coast Guard and BP developed an oil budget to track the oil's fnal disposition including evaporation, natural and chemical dispersion, weathering, biodegradation, and other means. Through careful analysis, the response organization estimated that only three percent of the total amount of oil released was mechanically recovered. Observations, Recommendations Following the spill, various reports and publications focused on the effective daily recovery capacity calcu- lation. Most notably, the National Commission on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling Report, the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Incident Specifc Pre- paredness Review (ISPR) report, and the Joint Industry Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Task Force (JITF) report discussed this issue in more detail and made recommendations regarding how to improve planning standards and mechanical recovery performance. The national commission report stated that the Coast Guard should revise EDRC to encourage development R e s p o n s e Improving Mechanical Oil Spill Response Equipment Standards by LCDR DREW CASEY U.S. Coast Guard Offce of Marine Environmental Response Policy Winter �2013_45.indd 26 2/10/14 9:31 AM