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Oil in the Sea III: Inputs, Fates, and Effects (2003)

Chapter: G Spills from Coastal Facilities

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Suggested Citation:"G Spills from Coastal Facilities." Transportation Research Board and National Research Council. 2003. Oil in the Sea III: Inputs, Fates, and Effects. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10388.
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G
Spills from Coastal Facilities

For this discussion facilities are defined as point sources of spills that are not vessels or oil and gas exploration and production facilities (including crude oil pipelines). Table G-1 lists the types of facilities included in this discussion. The U.S. Coast Guard database of spills greater than 100 gallons for 1990-1999 was used to estimate the amount of oil spilled from facilities (see detailed discussion of spill data used, available at http://www4.nationalacademies.org/dels/annex.nsf). The U.S. Coast Guard defines a facility as a spill source that is not a vessel; therefore the database had to be analyzed to remove spills from oil and gas production facilities. Spills from unknown sources (132 spills totaling 1,060 tonnes) were not included in the analysis because the source could not be determined. The data were sorted geographically to remove spills to inland waters. Also, only spills of refined petroleum products in coastal areas were included (so as to exclude the crude oil spills from the USCG data base that were included in the section on oil and gas exploration and production). As is the pattern for other sources of spills, facility spills greater than 100 gallons over the period 1990-1999 account for 8.5 percent of the number of spills and 98.3 percent of the spill volume.

Based on the U.S. Coast Guard database of spills greater than 100 gallons over the 10-year period from 1990-1999, there was an average of 119 facility spills per year, with an average volume of 14.4 tonnes each. The average annual spill volume from facilities was 1,708 tonnes. Table G-1 shows the distribution of the number and volume of oil spilled by type of facility. Tables 2-2 through 2-6 shows the distribution of the number and volume of oil spilled by zone.

Two types of facilities were the sources of 66 percent of the oil spilled over the 10-year period: coastal pipelines transporting refined products spilled 33 percent, and marine terminals spilled 33 percent. Industrial facilities were the next largest source of spilled oil, with 14.4 percent. The pipeline spill volume was dominated by one spill event in 1994 where 5,500 tonnes (1,616,000 gallons) of gasoline, crude oil, diesel, and jet fuel were spilled (the San Jacinto River spill in Texas). This one spill accounted for 30 percent of all the oil spilled from facilities in the 10-year period. This spill also demonstrates the problem of how to account for oil removal, since a very large fraction of the spilled oil burned.

Suggested Citation:"G Spills from Coastal Facilities." Transportation Research Board and National Research Council. 2003. Oil in the Sea III: Inputs, Fates, and Effects. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10388.
×

TABLE G-1 Spills from Facilities to Coastal and Marine Waters in the United States, Derived from the U.S. Coastal Guard Data Base for the Period 1990-1999

Spill Source

No. of Spills 1990-1999

Total Spill Volume (Tonnes) 1990-1999

Total Spill Volume (Gallons) 1990-1999

Aircraft/Airports

25

156

44,652

Coastal Pipelines (refined products)

48

5,377

1,565,072

Industrial Facilities

409

2,528

690,053

Marinas

26

63

19,343

Marine Terminals

335

5,727

1,590,378

Military Facilities

55

914

259,500

Municipal Facilities

131

1,181

309,594

Reception Facilities

4

11

3,110

Refineries

56

910

255,698

Shipyards

35

72

19,718

Storage Tanks

44

109

31,361

Other

17

36

10,030

Totals

1,185

17,084

4,798,509

Suggested Citation:"G Spills from Coastal Facilities." Transportation Research Board and National Research Council. 2003. Oil in the Sea III: Inputs, Fates, and Effects. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10388.
×
Page 221
Suggested Citation:"G Spills from Coastal Facilities." Transportation Research Board and National Research Council. 2003. Oil in the Sea III: Inputs, Fates, and Effects. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10388.
×
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Oil in the Sea III: Inputs, Fates, and Effects Get This Book
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Since the early 1970s, experts have recognized that petroleum pollutants were being discharged in marine waters worldwide, from oil spills, vessel operations, and land-based sources. Public attention to oil spills has forced improvements. Still, a considerable amount of oil is discharged yearly into sensitive coastal environments.

Oil in the Sea provides the best available estimate of oil pollutant discharge into marine waters, including an evaluation of the methods for assessing petroleum load and a discussion about the concerns these loads represent. Featuring close-up looks at the Exxon Valdez spill and other notable events, the book identifies important research questions and makes recommendations for better analysis of—and more effective measures against—pollutant discharge.

The book discusses:

  • Input—where the discharges come from, including the role of two-stroke engines used on recreational craft.
  • Behavior or fate—how oil is affected by processes such as evaporation as it moves through the marine environment.
  • Effects—what we know about the effects of petroleum hydrocarbons on marine organisms and ecosystems.

Providing a needed update on a problem of international importance, this book will be of interest to energy policy makers, industry officials and managers, engineers and researchers, and advocates for the marine environment.

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