PISCES is a software package used to simulate an oil spill under given environmental and atmospheric conditions. PISCES has several practical uses in planning and preparedness for a variety of purposes. This research was focused on simulating and then assessing booming strategies for railroad/waterway nexus points, as designated by USCG Sector Delaware Bay and the Area Committee. A large railroad spill incident is of high concern and planning priority within the region. Crude shipments by rail have increased drastically since 2008, and several refineries and terminals lie along the Delaware River and its tributaries. Starting in 2014, the USCG Sector Delaware Bay partnered with various regional agencies to identify railroad/waterway nexus points. This assessment helped to identify over 30 railroad nexus points in extremely sensitive areas. Booming strategies were then identified for these points. PISCES was implemented to test and provide evidence to prove the thought processes behind the booming strategies. In order to test these strategies, additional research was done to simulate statistically significant, and climatologically accurate spills in both the summer and winter seasons. Summer and winter were chosen to accurately represent a variety of conditions, which has implications on how the oil may react in the environment. In addition to assessing booming strategies, the accuracy of the PISCES model itself was tested. Two specific incidents were modeled and evaluated: a January 2016 diesel spill along the Schuylkill River, and the Wild Cosmos Bunker C fuel oil - #6 spill in the Wilmington, DE area in March of 2015. Research concluded that the model does provide a strong basis for assessing booming strategies. Additionally, PISCES has future uses in planning and exercise for scenarios like railroad incidents, which still have little data known that would be practical in response and clean-up operations. Additional planning uses could be done on a multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional scale for not only environmental assessment and mitigation from potential spill impacts, but for exercise & strategic stockpiling as well.

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