Development of dispersant regulations by competent national authorities or appropriate government regulators forms a critical part of national oil spill contingency planning processes, in alignment with the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation, 1990 (OPRC Convention). Dispersant product approval requirements outline which dispersants are approved for use and how dispersants can be added to a list of approved dispersants by meeting the requirements of specific laboratory-based tests. The tests are designed to screen out least effective or more toxic dispersants and as such can only be used for comparative purposes only and not for assessment of actual impacts or efficiency at sea where mixing and especially exposure conditions would be very different. In many countries the testing requires 3 separate processes (effectiveness, toxicity and biodegradability) to be undertaken to ensure inclusion on an approved list. Outputs from these tests are sometimes in a format that can be difficult or misleading to present and/or interpret in a manner that can readily be disseminated to audiences varying technical and non technical knowledge.
The authors have set about to produce a trio of new dispersant technical information sheets that distil and convey a wide range of common regulatory requirements and product specific results for three widely used marine dispersants. These sheets were developed to bridge the gap between the new IOGP-IPIECA Good Practice Guides and the API Fact Sheet (no.4) to provide the user with a specific level of detail on toxicity and effectiveness to aid in dispelling commonly held beliefs on dispersant exposure effects and to communicate the key messages on laboratory based tests.
Target audiences for the information sheets vary from oil industry, government regulators and environmental protection agencies through to the global scientific/academic community, NGOs and the general public. The style and content are tailored such that complex information is presented in an easily absorbed manner (graphics and simple text) to ensure clarity, understanding and advocacy.
The poster will present the background, approach and final outputs of the work. Information sheets will be displayed and made available to viewers as part of the poster presentation.