Who Pays for Oil Spills?

Posted Fri, 08/07/2020 - 08:00

After every major oil spill, one question comes up again and again: Who is going to pay for this mess? While the American public and the environment pay the ultimate price (metaphorically speaking), the polluter most often foots the bill for cleanup, response, and restoration after oil spills. In sum: You break it, you buy it.

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.

Minds Behind OR&R: Meet Jessica White alyssa.dillon Sun, 08/02/2020 - 15:19

This feature is part of a monthly series profiling scientists and technicians who provide exemplary contributions to the mission of NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R). In this month’s feature meet Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center Deputy Director Jessica White.

The Dangers of Storm Surge and Flooding

Posted Fri, 07/31/2020 - 16:40
By Charlie Henry, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program

A long time ago, I stood beside my grandfather outside of his house, looking toward the southeast at a very dark sky. We were 200 miles from where Hurricane Camille was making landfall in Mississippi—the second-most intense Atlantic tropical cyclone on record. 

How to Reduce Your Oil Consumption, Without Ditching Your Car

Posted Fri, 07/24/2020 - 06:11
By Alyssa Gray, Office of Response and Restoration

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

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.