28th Annual Joint Safety and Environmental Professional Development Symposium
The free annual virtual symposium offers Department of Defense uniformed and civilian professionals an opportunity to share innovative ideas, new trends and information in the fields of safety and occupational health and environmental protection. The PDS is open to federal personnel, federal contractors, and students pursuing coursework in related field.
LCDR Doig’s presentation was on NOAA Scientific Support for Oil and HAZMAT Spills. Every year, there are thousands of oil and chemical spills in coastal waters around the nation. These spills range from small ship collisions to fuel transfer mishaps to massive spill events like the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The release of oil and chemicals into our coastal waterways can kill wildlife, destroy habitat, and contaminate critical resources in the food chain. Spills can also wreak havoc on the economies of coastal communities by forcing the closure of fisheries, driving away tourists, or temporarily shutting down navigation routes. And these environmental and economic damages can linger for decades.
When dealing with oil and chemical spills, there are many questions that need to be answered. What was spilled? Where is the spill likely to travel in the water? How is the local environment affected now — and how might it be affected down the road? What's the best way to clean up the spill? How will balance be restored to the environment after the damage has been done? NOAA brings scientific expertise to the table to help answer these questions. The Emergency Response Division is often first on the scene, providing scientific expertise to predict where the spill is going and what impacts it might have, identifying resources at risk, and recommending clean-up methods.
In addition to conducting some of the response work, we also provide training and guidance for spill planners and responders who perform this work. This can take the form of training sessions and courses on our software products or the science of oil spills; field guides compiling practical, scientifically sound protocols and best practices; and guidance documents introducing and instructing on the use of our products and services.
For further information, contact Michael.E.Doig@noaa.gov.