Standard Guide for Surveys to Document and Assess Oiling Conditions
3.1 Systematic surveys provide data on shoreline, lakeshore, river bank or other terrain’s character and oiling conditions from which informed planning and operational decisions can be developed with respect to cleanup (1-4).3 In particular, the data are used by decision makers to determine which oiled areas require treatment and to develop end-point criteria for use as targets for the field operations.
3.2 Surveys may include one or more of four components or phases, as listed below. The scale of an affected area plus quantity and availability of pre-spill information will influence the selection of survey components and its level of detail.
3.2.1 The aerial reconnaissance survey phase provides a perspective on the overall extent and general nature of the oiling conditions. This information is used in conjunction with environmental, resource, and cultural sensitivity data to guide shoreline protection, recovery of mobile oil, and to facilitate the more detailed response planning and priorities of the response operations.
3.2.2 The aerial video survey(s) phase provides systematic audio and video documentation of the extent and type of oiling conditions, physical character, and logistics information, such as access and staging data.
3.2.3 The ground assessment survey(s) phase provides the necessary information and data to develop appropriate response recommendations. A field team(s) collects detailed information on oil conditions, the physical and ecological character of oiled areas, and resources or cultural features that may affect or be affected by the timing or implementation of response activities.
3.2.4 The post-treatment inspection ground survey or monitoring phase provides the necessary information and data to ensure a segment, that is part of the response program, has been treated to the approved end-point criterion. (5)
3.3 In order to ensure data consistency, it is important to use standardized terminology and definitions in describing oiling conditions, as provided in Guide F1687. This terminology is described in more detail in guidelines on Best Practices and checklists for the implementation of a survey program (1-4).
1.1 This guide covers field procedures by which data can be collected in a systematic manner to document and assess the oiling conditions on shorelines, river banks, and lake shores (shores and substrates) plus dry land habitats (terrain).
1.2 This guide does not address the terminology that is used to define and describe terrain oiling conditions, the ecological character of oiled terrain, or the cultural or other resources that can be present.
1.3 The guide is applicable to marine coasts (including estuaries) and to freshwater environments (rivers and lakes) and to dry land habitats. In alignment with Guide F2204:
1.3.1 For the purpose of this guide, marine and estuarine shorelines, river banks, and lake shores will be collectively referred to as shorelines, shores, or shore-zones.
1.3.2 Shore types include a range of impermeable (bedrock, ice, and manmade structures), permeable (flats, beaches, and manmade), and coastal wetland (marshes, mangroves) habitats.
1.4 Other non-shoreline, inland habitats include wetlands (pond, fen, bog, swamp, tundra, and shrub) and drier terrains (grassland, desert, forests), and will be collectively referred to as either wetlands or terrains, respectively.
1.5 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.
1.6 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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