State-of-Science for Dispersant Use in Arctic Waters

Background on the State-of-Science for Dispersant Use in Arctic Waters Initiative:

Chemical dispersants were employed on an unprecedented scale during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and could be a response option should a large spill occur in Arctic waters. One of the outcomes of an Arctic oil spill drill for senior federal agency leadership identified the need for a definitive evaluation of the state-of-science of dispersants and dispersed oil (DDO), particularly as it applies to Arctic waters.

To address this need, the Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC) coordinated a discussion among scientists with dispersant research expertise, as well as those with Arctic expertise, to determine the state-of-science (knowns and uncertainties) regarding DDO, as it applies to Arctic waters.  Separate panels of scientists were convened to focus on each of the following topics concerning DDO:                                                                                  

  1. Efficacy and Effectiveness;
  2. Physical Transport and Chemical Behavior;
  3. Degradation and Fate;
  4. Eco-Toxicity and Sublethal Impacts; and 
  5. Public Health and Food Safety.

An outline of the sub-topics covered under each topic here>>

The outcomes of the initiative include:

  • CRRC developed a database of research/reference documents on DDO for each topic that were published between June 2008 and December 31, 2015. Links to each specific topic database are listed below. (The CRRC database includes documents published after the LUMCON database (http://www.lumcon.edu/library/dispersants/) which has an end date of June 2008.)
  • Based on the literature, the scientists made statements for each topic delineating what is known about the state-of-science regarding DDO as it applies to Arctic waters.
  • The scientists also made statements for each topic delineating the uncertainties about the state-of-science regarding DDO as it applies to Arctic waters.

The CRRC is requesting written input from the public on the statements of knowns and uncertainties developed by each of the scientific panels.  The process and schedule for submitting written input is outlined below. Please note that there are five documents for which you will be able to submit written input.  These will be released and input will be requested sequentially. Please see below for the dates as they apply to each topic.

After reviewing the statements of knowns and uncertainies for a specific topic, you may provide suggestions on what to add or remove or change about these statements regarding the state-of-science using a Written Input Submission Form. There is a separate, unique submission form for each topic. Input will be reviewed and considered by each panel of scientists. We request that you submit your written input on an individual basis, as we are not seeking consensus advice.

If you have questions, please contact info.ddoinitiative@unh.edu.

Sample public input form for submissions here>>

Topics for Input:

Topic 1: Efficacy and Effectiveness - Input period is now closed.

State-of-Science of knowns and uncertainties about the efficacy and effectiveness of dispersants and dispersed oil as it applies to their use in the Arctic document for review here>>.

CRRC Database for Efficacy and Effectiveness here>>.

Efficacy and Effectiveness Panelists here>>.

 

Topic 2: Physical Transport and Chemical Behavior - Input period is now closed.

State-of-Science of knowns and uncertainties about the Physical Transport and Chemical Behavior of dispersants and dispersed oil as it applies to their use in the Arctic document for review here>>.

CRRC Database for Physical Transport and Chemical Behavior here>>.

Physical Transport and Chemical Behavior Panelists here>>.

 

 Topic 3: Degradation and Fate -  Input period is now closed.

State-of-Science of knowns and uncertainties about the Degradation and Fate of dispersants and dispersed oil as it applies to their use in the Arctic document for review here>>

CRRC Database for Degradation and Fate here>>

Degradation and Fate Panelists here>>

 

Topic 4: Eco-Toxicity and Sublethal Effects - Open for review: Spring 2017 (specific dates to be announced later)

 

Topic 5: Public Health and Food Safety - Open for review: Late Spring 2017 (specific dates to be announced later)

Peer Review Information & Appendix