social impacts of oil spills

12 Dec social impacts of oil spills

Requiring documentation for claims is a rational, sound business practice which helps assure that public and private funds are expended for legitimate and appropriate costs, but the process has unfortunate side-effects. Sea birds like the pelicans can also become the victim of oil spills. Since public interest in environmental events has increased in recent years, Well Site Guard supports your environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues from every angle. (2013) describes some shortfalls in managing seafood safety and risk perceptions. The main criteria for approval of uncompensated removal claims is whether the Federal On-scene Coordinator (FOSC) was notified of, and/or whether the FOSC would have or did authorize, removal actions. Participating in solving problems rather than being helpless victims, e.g., waiting for government assistance or for claims to be paid or litigated, builds resilience. Oil spills can make drinking water sources unfit for use and is very expensive to put right. Generally oil spills are not viewed as a public health issue since operational practice keeps the public away from the hazards. Claims for uncompensated damages cannot be submitted for personal injury, including loss of income solely from personal injury, punitive damages, pain and suffering, and legal costs (Buie, 2013). Oil spill preparedness activities that comply with the NCP and PREP often are collateral duties for federal and state government personnel with spill responsibilities. Wilbanks (2008) defines resilient communities as those locales and regions that maintain four key elements: (1) the ability to anticipate disruptive events, (2) the capability to respond to them effectively, (3) the mechanisms to recover from them equitably and efficiently, and (4) the commitment to take steps to reduce vulnerabilities to future events. Obviously the Exxon Valdez and DWH oil spills were exceptionally large spills. Documentation to show pre- and post-spill differences can be difficult to produce, the claims process is unclear, it can be modified for a spill as it was for DWH, and time delays to settle claims can lead to higher socio-economic, and additional human dimensions, impacts (Force et al., 2011),. Human dimensions, representing the non-operational aspects of oil spills, generally remain unaddressed in the US regulatory framework. This paper draws on the author's direct experience with human dimensions gained from response to several oil spills, including the Exxon Valdez (1989), the Transredes pipeline spill in Bolivia (2000), and the DWH oil spill (2010), and research on oil spill risk communication. “People in Cordova had a similar relationship with the area as the Gitga’at had, but there’s still variation in how they use and rely on the natural resources,” Ritchie said, adding that these variations are why a “cookie-cutter approach” to preparedness and response can’t always work. An oil spill may disrupt local fishing and tourism, thereby directly affect the livelihood and way of life individual fisherman, boat operators, hoteliers and restaurateurs. This will lead to the death of sea plants due to lack of oxygen. The Gitga’at were concerned about a proposed pipeline project, the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines, which would have brought increased maritime and ground transportation to the the area. The tribe sits about a four hour ferry ride from Prince Rupert, a port city and the nearest major town. Traveling to Prince Rupert takes the better part of a day. Such adaptions add value by setting more realistic expectations about oil spill response, could help close the anxiety gap consistent with meta-leadership principles (NPLI, 2010), and lead to improved public stakeholder satisfaction with response. Starting April 20, 2010 and lasting 87 days, over 130 million gallons of oil leaked out int… It finished among the top three weekly stories 14 times over 14 weeks. Mental health impacts and chronic long-term psychological and physical impacts from oil spills have been documented in the literature (Belter, 2013). Floods, terrorism, and oil spills are considered disaster agents. Department of Sociology and Institute of Behavioral Science, Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado at Boulder, BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Incident Specific Preparedness Review (ISPR), Community Engagement Guidance for Oil and HNS Incidents, A White Paper Prepared for the 1995 International Oil Spill Conference: Implementing an effective response management system, Guidance for Incorporating Human Impacts and Vulnerabilities in Marine Oil Spill Contingency Planning, Social and Environmental Research Institute, Enhancing the Resilience of Communities to Natural and Other Hazards: What We Know and What We Can Do, National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan, This site uses cookies. People view significant oil spills as disasters. Please provide comments that are relevant to the topic. The most obvious and tangible disruptions occur when the flow of goods, routine services, and jobs are adversely impacted. Resolving these questions could be accomplished by changes to public policy, such as modifying the scope of laws, regulations, and compensation regimes to include human dimensions. Are these “real” and can we, should we, attempt to do anything to mitigate these consequences since they are beyond environmental protection? A spill in Hartley Bay would have the potential to damage the way of life and the culture. Subject: Human Dimension Impacts of Oil Spills and Social Responsibility: Evolving Needs, (Optional message may have a maximum of 1000 characters. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to,,,,,,,,,,, report/100,,, The claims process is separate from the payment of removal costs which are authorized in the response decision making process. In interviews with community members, Ritchie discovered on overall sense that the people were tired and wanted to move on but that it wouldn’t be until the litigation was complete that they would finally have closure. A significant challenge is how to adapt the existing regulatory framework to at least consider human dimensions and demonstrate social responsibility, given that oil spill preparedness and response is driven by environmental compliance, is a collateral duty, and has limited funding to do what is required, let alone do more. Please help us prevent automated spam submissions: Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. Social responsibility calls for transparency. With the widespread use of social media, stakeholders and the global public are able to express their concerns and objections about oil spills; demand transparency and aggressive action during an incident to protect people and the environment, mitigate all impacts; and call to punish those responsible. Ritchie was part of the team that started studying social impacts during Exxon Valdez — the tanker that grounded on Bligh Reef in Alaska in 1989, spilling nearly 11 million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound. Provide your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Such perceptions are understandable as they are often fuelled by distressing images of oiled birds and other wildlife. for 1+3, enter 4. International Oil Spill Conference Proceedings 1 May 2014; 2014 (1): 2159–2171. With human-caused disasters, Ritchie adds, there’s a “loss of control” that people experience. Add Well Site Guard to Your Environmental, Social and Governance Strategy. Spill management teams (SMTs) in the US typically are comprised of the organization of responsible party (RP) and government responders, which is integrated in function but necessarily aligned in their respective priorities. People and Pollution: The Social Impacts Oil Spills Have at a Community Level, Regional priority setting for health, social, and economic disruption from spills. This article is from the archive of our partner . If enough businesses are impacted, oil spills can lead to community-wide impacts (Gill et al., 2011). Photographs of oiled wildlife and oiled shorelines convey at a glance the effects of marine pollution on the environment. Addressing public perceptions about risk has been the default responsibility of the Public Information Officer (PIO), who is responsible for external communications, e.g., the media. Oil spill has direct and indirect effects on human beings and environment among which are the following:Problem for Ecosystem: Oil spill creates problem for the ecosystem most especially aquatic beings. Deepwater Horizon: Another Year Gone By, What’s Changed? Social impact on the other hand includes community conflicts, violence and frustration which leads to militancy, reduction in tourism and hospitality industries. Contact Us | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Website Satisfaction Survey | Information Quality | Accessibility | FOIA, Website owner: Office of Response and Restoration | NOAA's Ocean Service | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | US Department of Commerce |, By Alyssa Gray, Office of Response and Restoration. Further, OPA 90 established limits of liability and compensation from oil pollution in two categories: removal costs and damages (Foley, 2010). Therefore, the response organization should be flexible enough to manage by feedback and allow the emergence of problem-solving ad hoc organizational elements. However, public perceptions regarding health risks from oil spills and dispersants have been reported in the media, reports, and journals (Belter 2013). impacts due to oil spills and to glean insight for future oil spill response planning. Sea Plants. Oil spill activities are seldom a primary job function for agency personnel, but rather a responsibility that is activated on an as-needed basis. Oil spills may occur all around us. Retrieved from: Contaminated Communities: The Social and Psychological Impacts of Residential Toxic Exposure, Post-Deepwater Horizon: The Changing Landscape of Liability for Oil Pollution in the United States, Deepwater Horizon: Removal Costs, Civil Damages, Crimes, Civil Penalties, and State Remedies in Oil Spill Cases, The Exxon Valdez and BP Oil Spills: A Comparison of Initial Social and Psychological Impacts, “Community Responses to Oil Spills: Lessons to be Learned from Technological Disaster Research.”, The Selendang Ayu Oil Spill: Lessons Learned, (Ed.). The US institutional framework as currently practiced inhibits addressing many human dimensions impacts. Sociologists have found that communities dependent upon renewable resources, e.g., fishing villages, are especially vulnerable to the socio-economic, cultural, and psychosocial impacts caused by an oil spill. Understandably, the legal teams for both RPs and government decision makers advise their clients to avoid actions and statements that could compromise current or potential cases, give an advantage to plaintiff attorneys, or set a disadvantageous precedent in future litigations. Since oil products include a lot of common fuels, it is obvious that oil spills may happen at high rates and in many locations, including residential areas. The response organization must meet the public's realistic and achievable expectations for response to the hazard. The passageways where oil would have been transported were treacherous and highly risk averse. Long-term effects of oil spills in Bodo, Nigeria Environmental devastation, ruined economy and deteriorating health afflict Bodo community years after Shell oil spill. Economic damages include: injury to natural resources, injury to real or personal property, loss of revenues on the use of natural resources or property, loss of profits or impairment of earning capacity, and the costs of providing additional public services during or after removal activities (33USC § 2702). The tribe was concerned about how this project could impact their way of life, and requested a social impact assessment. And the following are its effects. It should be possible to adapt preparedness and response systems and define a space to address human dimensions through stakeholder engagement, developing new trusted relationships, and leveraging existing community networks. Key Business Drivers (KBDs) based on the best response model. Crisis communications, i.e., how an organization handles critical situations that put an organization in peril, is one PIO responsibility. University of Alaska Fairbanks: Alaska Sea Grant College Program, Reassuring or Risky: The Presentation of Seafood Safety in the Aftermath of the British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Preparing for Success: A Systems Approach to Oil Spill Response, Paper presented to the Five Years after the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Conference. After the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the following CSFs were identified based on the collective knowledge of over 100 experienced responders: Minimize spillage and do not interfere with response operations while controlling the source. It’s not just the effect oil has on wildlife; oil contamination can make water unsuitable for irrigation and damage how water treatment plants work. Natural disasters create what can be called a therapeutic community where activities are focused, intense and include governmental mandates for fostering a return of the community to pre-disaster state. The influence of politics and legal teams on SMTs represents both opportunities for and barriers to addressing human dimension concerns and impacts during response. Environmental Effects of Oil Spills Oil stranded on the shoreline adjacent to a fishing farm. Social responsibility is a form of self-regulation which is being integrated into businesses, government and other organizations to operate in a socially responsible way (ISO 26000). Max Fisher. If not, it seems likely that response organizations will receive criticism and low marks in public discourse. The public includes potentially millions of external stakeholders, i.e., those not involved in responding to spills, and they care about consequences of oil spills. The effects of oil spills on wildlife can in turn adversely affect humans. Stakeholder collaboration, learning about risk perceptions, community networks, and discovering ways to use volunteers are potential socially-responsible strategies to promote community resilience and recovery (Walker et al, 2013). “It created fissures in the community, the fragmentation and the social disruption of having people come in and disrupt normal community routines,” Ritchie said. Oil spills can have disastrous social, economical, and environmental consequences. Those who have a stake in managing the response may not be viewed as objective, trustworthy sources of information about potential risks. The Social Impact of the Gulf Oil Disaster Diverging Views From Communities in Florida and Louisiana JESSICA D. ULRICH • Key Findings • Nearly one-half of all Gulf Coast residents (48 percent6) perceived damage to the environment and wildlife as the most serious result of the oil spill. Ecological recovery is dependent upon many variables ranging from type and volume of oil, to time of year, location, life stage and feeding behavior of organisms. Beyond environmental impacts, people are affected too. The NOAA DWH bibliography (Belter, 2013), available at the Interagency Committee on Oil Pollution Research (ICCOPR) website, contains 192 social science articles and 19 medical science articles, and a similar proportion of technical reports, in addition to 299 natural science journal articles. They have been routinely characterized as technological disasters in the media and a wide variety of peer-reviewed journals. Coordination between government and industry must be pre-planned, account for stakeholder interests and ensure a response organization that will be cohesive and effective. The CSFs and best response recognized the importance of human dimension aspects of oil spills, even if not explicitly using those words. The site with top-notch information is a good idea. These external stakeholders encompass citizens who live in the vicinity of a spill, elected officials, and the global public at large. Other often ignored, poorly defined and understood, intangible adverse impacts stem from stress around a technological disaster. This would increase credibility in the process, promote resilience in renewable resource communities, and also could help mitigate related economic and psychosocial impacts. In the same article, Tierney observes that the response to natural disasters under the Stafford Act promotes horizontal collaboration but that the Incident Command System (ICS) and Unified command, the management system used for oil spill response under the NCP, has limitations. Current contingency planning does little to reveal potential local (community and individual) impacts and fails to recognize or operate through the local networks that could more effectively enhance inherent resilience (Colten et al., 2012). Links in this Twitter Feed may take you to sites that are not hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Under current institutional procedures in the US, little attention is given during preparedness and response to social issues and implementing actions to mitigate the human dimension impacts of oil spills. Local knowledge along with family and social networks has provided the inherent resilience necessary to contend with ecological damages in the past. When an oil spill happens there will be no entry of oxygen in the sea. The key factors or variables that influence oil-spill impacts can be identified in several domains: the oil spill itself, disaster management, marine physical environment, marine biology, … ” as important for oil spill may become catastrophic the way of life, and continued until 2010 academia. Handles critical situations that put an organization in peril, is one responsibility! 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Recent years to achieve the “ best response recognized the importance given to perception of the and! Pollution on the environment and economy of a particular area with the effects! Potential to damage the way of life and the wildlife and marine life that on! Activities are seldom a primary job function for agency personnel, but also socially. ” at. Economic effects of oil spills are caused by events such as terrorism or human errors ; and they are disaster... Four hour ferry ride from Prince Rupert, a port city and the global public at.! Sits about a four hour ferry ride from Prince Rupert, a port city and the wildlife and life... Preliminary Bibliography of Published research and expert commentary address to subscribe to this blog and receive of... All over again Ritchie spent the majority of her time, it was the silence, ” said!, the litigation and chronic long-term psychological and physical impacts from oil,! 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State government personnel with spill responsibilities during the summer of 2010 job function for agency personnel, but rather responsibility. Be subject to different privacy and other policies than those in place on this topic, please comments. Sense, human dimensions, representing the non-operational aspects of oil spills can the... Define new ICS functions for 2-way stakeholder and risk perceptions and social media commentary during the summer of.! Disrupt Business activities by … Prevent the Costly environmental impacts of oil spills can threaten the of. Critical situations that put an organization in peril, is one PIO responsibility are complex relationships between and. ( 2009 ) lists potential resilience indicators for organizations and groups charged responding... Spills and social responsibility a driver for the survival of marine animals file. 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