This paper discusses a newly developed scientific and engineering planning and decision-making tool, the technology windows-of-opportunity concept, and how it can be used for marine oil spill contingency planning, response, education, and training on a global basis. The “windows-of-opportunity” approach provides a common foundation for the development of a rapid and cost-effective tool for oil spill contingency planning and spill response decision making. It is intended for use by state and federal agencies, response planners, cleanup organizations (responders), insurance companies, tanker owners, and transporters. The “windows” concept has the potential for significant environmental and cost benefits in spill response. It will provide policymakers and decision makers with a scientifically based and documented “tool” in oil spill response that has not been available before.

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