Oil SpillsOil is a product used by everyone, but sometimes oil is a problem.
An oil spill is aleakage from an oceangoing tanker, pipelines, or other oil sources. Oil spills occur veryfrequently, and cause enormous ecological harm. About eight million barrels of oil arespilled each year. Tankers usually carry about five-hundred million barrels of oil. Many oil spills, large in land or ocean coverage, have had major impacts on theearth and it’s inhabitants.
Many animals are die and some are injured in some way. Manyplants and animals are endangered, or are now extinct. The largest oil spill to occur waswhen the Exxon Valdez went aground and covered 4,800 square miles in Prince WilliamSound, Alaska. This spill killed 35,000 sea birds, 10,000 otters, and at least nine whales.Order now
The spill left pools of oil up to three feet on some beaches. In December of 1989, anIranian tanker leaked 70,000 tons, about 19 million gallons of oil off of the coast ofMorocco. In January 1990 a broken Exxon pipeline leaked 567,000 gallons into the NewYork harbor. In June of 1990, another 260,000 gallons were spilled in New York Harbor. A tanker carrying 38 million gallons of oil caught on fire, and leaked oil into the Gulf ofMexico. This was a very serious threat to local shrimp nurseries and wildlife refuges.
InFebruary of 1990, 300,000 gallons leaked from a damaged tanker off Southern California,fouling miles of shoreline. In the Niger River delta, in Nigeria, Shell pipelines haverepeatedly burst. In 1970 oil spilled across 8 square km, which remained contaminated forover 20 years. According to the U.
S. Coast guard, the incident rate post is only 0. 5 spills peryear. In fact, there have been no large spills over 5,000 barrels from tankers in the USsince 1991. The US Coast Guard data shows that the amount of oil spilled by tankers hasdecreased dramatically.
Worldwide pollution from tanker spills is a relatively minorsource of marine pollution. It only represents a small fraction of the oil released to theenvironment, when it is being compared to industrial waste, non-tanker shipping, and oilseepage from natural resources. Ships are but one part of an overall safety system thatincludes charting, aids to navigation, the condition of channels, and the resources that theCoast guard can bring to ensure standards are being met. The United States suffers frommeasurable neglect in portions of it’s marine infrastructure. The Refuse Act, which was first enacted in 1899, makes it a crime to allow refuseto enter navigable waters.
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act, makes it a crime to kill certainbirds. These laws were not intended to apply to an oil spill, but prosecutors use them tointimidate and punish individuals without an obvious connection to a spill. The singlemost positive improvement that Congress can make to the legal regime, is to amend theRefuse Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, to make them inapplicable to oil spillscovered in the Clean Water Act. Oil Spill Wildlife Management (OSWM), in businesssince 1989, is a wildlife consulting firm. OSWM offers it’s clients an alternative to thewildlife dilemma. Donjon Environmental Marine Services is a synergistic organizationcreated to provide the maritime industry with responsive, and cost-effective answers tomeet the requirements of The Oil Pollution Act of 1990.
Garner Environmental Servicesprovides a 24 hour emergency response for any type of pollution incidents. GarnerEnvironmental Services specializes in the management of disposal of waste streams, andmaintains a fleet if equipment and drivers to transport these waste streams from industrieson the Gulf Coast. Clean Venture Inc. is a leading contractor in handling waste, andhazardous oil materials. Since, it’s establishment, Clean Venture Inc.
, has responded tomore than five thousand oil and hazardous material spills and has performed over tenthousand projects, ranging in size from 1,000 to 3,000,000 dollars. How can we prevent oil spills? The US oil and natural gas industry, supplies morethan 65 percent of America’s energy. ?By nearly every measure, the volume of spills inUS waters has been on a steady downward trend since 1973,? states Captain James D. Spitzer, the chief of the US Coast Guard’s Office of Investigations.
Most spills that occurare usually small, based on data from the US Coast Guard. In 1997, more thanthree-fourths of the spills in US waters were under ten gallons of oil, which is less than acar’s fuel tank can hold. From the year of 1989, the year of the Exxon Valdez accident,the amount of oil spilled in US waters has declined from fourteen million gallons to 1. 1million gallons spilled in 1997. Every part of the modern petroleum industry hascontributed to the progress being made. Exploration and production facilities useadvanced materials and techniques, with plenty of back up safety systems.
Pipelines usecomputers, electromagnetic instruments, and ultrasonic devices to detect weak spots, sothey can be repaired before it is to late and a leak develops. Marine terminals and vesselsare being made differently. Tankers are being built with double hulls. Storage tanks areconstructed of special materials to withstand corrosion.
People play important roles inprevention, by signing petitions, striking companies, and some boycott, which isn’tsuccessful because oil is an everyday use. Everyone can become a part of theconservation and prevention of oil spills.Science Essays