Periodic Reporting for period 3 - GRACE (Integrated oil spill response actions and environmental effects)
Reporting period: 2019-03-01 to 2019-08-31
• explore the true environmental impacts and benefits of a suite of marine oil spill response technologies in cold climates and ice-infested areas in the northern Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic Sea. The response methods include mechanical collection of oil in water and below ice, in situ burning, use of chemical dispersants, natural biodegradation and combinations of these;
• assess in particular the impacts of naturally and chemically dispersed oil, in situ burning residues and non-collected oil, on fish, mussels, crustaceans and macro algae, using highly sensitive biomarker methods, and to develop specific methods for the rapid detection of the effects of oil pollution on biota;
• improve the observation and predictions of oil spill distribution and fate in the sea using novel on-line sensors on vessels, fixed structures or gliders, and smart data transfer to operational awareness systems;
• develop a strategic Net Environmental Benefit Analysis tool (sNEBA) for oil spill response strategy decision making in cold climates and ice-infested areas.
The main conclusions of the project are that developed systems for on-line monitoring on different platforms of oil in the water phase are on levels that are ready to be implemented and marketed. A novel under-ice oil recovery device for oil under ice collection was developed and will soon be ready for launching on the market. The application of dispersants for enhancing oil removal from seawater by biodegradation provided contradictory results, and more research is needed. Toxicity tests showed that dispersed oils can be more acute toxic than oil and therefore dispersants should be used with caution in sensitive areas such as the Arctic and the Baltic Sea. The results from the unique in situ burning experiment in Greenland and the environmental impacts showed that this is a method that can be used in remote areas under suitable conditions. A novel Environment & Oil Spill Response (EOS) analytical tool for environmental assessment to support oil spill response design was developed and launched on the internet.