Argo Merchant: What if It Happened Today?

Posted Tue, 08/11/2020 - 10:41

Whenever oil is transported there is a risk of accidents and spills, but the 40 years since the Argo Merchant oil spill have seen improvements in laws, shipping technology and spill response.

Tankers today are much safer, but they are also much larger. The Argo Merchant was carrying about 8 million gallons of oil, while modern tankers can carry 10 times that amount. A large spill is a rare event, but the impacts are still potentially catastrophic.

The True Cost of an Oil Spill: Q&A with a NOAA Economist

Posted Thu, 08/06/2020 - 04:12

Before the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 that followed shortly after, the Deepwater Port Act of 1974 (DWPA) provided guidance for deepwater port structures used for the import and export of oil and natural gas, including conditions to minimize adverse environmental impacts.

This new law resulted in NOAA’s Deepwater Ports Project Office — an early predecessor to NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration and the start of OR&R Senior Economist Norman Meade’s 43 year career with NOAA.

An Oil Spill’s Silver Lining, Over Three Decades After Exxon Valdez

Posted Tue, 08/04/2020 - 04:58
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

When an oil spill happens, whoever is responsible pays for the cleanup and restoration.

But this has not always been the case. Thirty years ago, on March 24, 1989, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez grounded on Bligh Reef, rupturing its hull and spilling almost 11 million gallons of crude oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound.

It was an unprecedented disaster, and at the time there was no comprehensive federal legislation to determine the scope of liability for costs of cleanup and restoration.

How to Reduce Your Oil Consumption, Without Ditching Your Car
By Alyssa Gray, Office of Response and Restoration
alyssa.gray Fri, 07/24/2020 - 06:11

At NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration, we respond to oil spills both big and small — from the millions of barrels of oil that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, to spills of a few barrels released from minor vessel accidents that happen every month. But oil is entering America’s coasts and waterways on a daily basis through another means of pollution — oil runoff.

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Lightning Safety Awareness: A Threat to Lives and Infrastructure 

Posted Tue, 07/14/2020 - 23:08
By Savannah Turner,  NOAA Office of Response and Restoration

While warmer weather motivates us to spend more time outdoors, it also gives rise to ideal atmospheric conditions that generate thunderstorms and lightning. So, even though the 2020 hurricane season remains in the forefront, the Disaster Preparedness Program also encourages you to remain cognizant of additional seasonal hazards, such as lightning.