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Acute pollution response operations

When major incidents of acute pollution are reported to the Norwegian Coastal Administration, pollution response personnel and equipment are mobilized immediately. In the event of oil spills, the mobilization is carried out in cooperation with the affected regional/municipal authority or polluter according to the Coastal Administration’s contingency plan against acute pollution. In response to chemical pollution incidents, other resources may also be involved.

Phases of response operations:

  • Notification
  • Situation assessment; setting up the operation’s goals and evaluate the environmental impact
  • Mobilization (personnel/equipment)
  • Spill recovery at incident site
  • Protecting high priority environmental resources
  • Limiting further spill migration
  • Recovery of pollutant
  • Rough clean-up
  • Thorough clean-up
  • Further monitoring of impacted area if necessary
  • Environmental investigations to assess the scope of damage

Experience has shown that acute, near-shore oil spills generally lead to shoreline contamination. It is therefore important to secure the oil inshore to prevent further spreading by tides and currents.

To prevent the shoreline cleanup operation itself from inflicting further damage on the area, the most environment-friendly cleaning methods are used. A pollution response operation may take from a few days to several months, and involve a lot of people and considerable material resources. Oil spill response operations are thus very costly.

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