Standard Guide for Ecological Considerations for the Use of Oil Spill Dispersants in Freshwater and Other Inland Environments, Ponds and Sloughs
This guide is meant to aid local and regional response teams who may use it during spill response planning and spill events.
This guide should be adapted to site specific circumstance.
1.1 This guide covers the use of oil spill dispersants to assist in the control of oil spills. The guide is written with the goal of minimizing the environmental impacts of oil spills; this goal is the basis on which the recommendations are made. Aesthetic and socioeconomic factors are not considered, although these and other factors are often important in spill response.
1.2 Spill responders have available several means to control or clean up spilled oil. In this guide, the use of dispersants is given equal consideration with other spill countermeasures. It is not considered as a “last resort” after all other methods have failed.
1.3 This is a general guide only. It assumes the oil to be dispersible and the dispersant to be effective, available, applied correctly, and in compliance with relevant government regulations. In the assessment of environmental sensitivity, it is assumed that the dispersant is nonpersistent in the natural environment. Oil, as used in this guide, includes crude oils and refined petroleum products. Differences between individual dispersants or between different oil products are not considered.
1.4 The guide is organized by habitat type, for example, small ponds and lakes, rivers and streams, and land. It considers the use of dispersants primarily to protect habitats from impact (or to minimize impacts).
1.5 This guide applies only to freshwater and other inland environments. It does not consider the direct application of dispersants to subsurface waters.
1.6 In making dispersant use decisions, appropriate government authorities should be consulted as required by law.
1.7 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
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