With regard to oil spills, social responsibility exceeds regulatory compliance; it is absent from explicit mention in preparedness and response doctrine perhaps because OPA 90 pre-dates the rise of social responsibility. Technological disasters, conversely, disrupt communities on multiple levels (PWS RCAC, 2004). Further, OPA 90 established limits of liability and compensation from oil pollution in two categories: removal costs and damages (Foley, 2010). Noteworthy also is the importance given to perception of the public, media and all stakeholders that the response is successful. Search for other works by this author on: Shaping and Misrepresenting Public Perceptions of Ecological Catastrophes: The BP Gulf Oil Spill, You Have to Lead from Everywhere. The human dimensions of spills include health, social, economic, use, and cultural impacts to a wide range of entities at multiple scales, including individuals, families, businesses, communities, institutions, and government. The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. They have been routinely characterized as technological disasters in the media and a wide variety of peer-reviewed journals. Unless this framework is adapted, human dimension impacts will likely remain a gap and an unresolved problem. 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. This paper also explores potential opportunities to incorporate social responsibility into oil spill preparedness and response strategies as ways to mitigate human dimensions impacts going forward. This could mean the building becomes unusable until expensive restoration work is completed, or in extreme circumstances the building may need to be demolished. 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. This research provides a comparison of the social and mental health impacts of these two major technological disasters. Social responsibility calls for transparency. Max Fisher. There are three avenues for the OSLTF to pay for oil spill costs and damages: (1) Removal costs, which are the costs to prevent, minimize, or mitigate oil pollution; (2) Natural Resource Damages (NDR); and (3) Claims for uncompensated damages or removal costs. But even at a larger social level, like a community, oil spills can threaten the order of things. “What people described most was the silence,” Ritchie said. Subject: Human Dimension Impacts of Oil Spills and Social Responsibility: Evolving Needs, (Optional message may have a maximum of 1000 characters. Local knowledge along with family and social networks has provided the inherent resilience necessary to contend with ecological damages in the past. Physical contamination can affect stocks and disrupt business activities by … Researchers distinguish between natural (acts of God) and technological (human-caused) disasters. 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). The social science literature provides insights into ways to promote and leverage community resilience which can mitigate human dimensions impacts. Is social responsibility a driver for the preparedness and response decisions of those in leadership positions? Over 100 million gallons of oil is spilled every year causing destruction to animals, habitats and humans. Community resilience refers to the capacity of people to cope with a serious event that impacts them but they did not cause, and is managed by outside entities like government, insurance, and experts. They also identified Key Business Drivers (KBDs) to underlie the best response model, as shown in Table 1. 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. “Despite the different locations, many of the social impacts are similar if not the same,” Ritchie said. A divide was created between those who were able to get contracts to work on the cleanup, and those who didn’t. Engaging new local stakeholders also could reveal innovative scenarios, and revitalize the PREP exercises which have become rather predictable over the last 20 years. People down in the Gulf Coast are so entrenched in it, the oil industry is part of the routine in ways that it isn’t for people in Cordova.”. Technological disasters result from human causes, such as terrorism or human errors; and they are considered preventable, unlike natural disasters. Obviously the Exxon Valdez and DWH oil spills were exceptionally large spills. Fish may be the most affected in the case of an oil spill. The OSLTF can be used to pay for claims for: uncompensated removal costs; loss of profits or earning capacity; loss of Federal, State, or Local government revenues; costs to state or local governments for increased public services; loss of subsistence use of natural resources; damages to real or personal property; and natural resource damages. FOSCs, responsible for leading Area Committees (ACs) and developing Area Contingency Plans (ACPs), and who also participate in RRTs, possess the discretionary authority to put human dimensions on the agenda for discussion. The more oil spill responders work to build relationships with local communities and the more open both they and local communities are to learning about each other's knowledge and culture, the easier it will be to effectively transfer resources and knowledge. Previous work recognized that public and stakeholder reactions to, and perceptions about, an oil spill response can influence the overall success of response. It was like a sort of PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder],” Ritchie said. E.g. Does it really matter if the public thinks a response has been carried out well, or if the response addresses their perceptions about risks and what's important, or if we address socio-economic impacts sooner than later? Human dimensions impacts are those that are not ecological (Webler et al., 2010). 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). 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. The process involved a lot of paperwork, and repetitive efforts to document, over time, the impacts people were experiencing. Ritchie recalls in particular an interview with one man who said he hadn’t been out to Prince William Sound since the oil spill happened. Belief in the validity and trustworthiness of expert knowledge and government-disseminated information hinges upon appropriate knowledge transfer, which occurs over time. However the problems associated with sustaining effective engagement with all or even some of the communities has been enormously challenging for the assigned planning personnel at US Coast Guard Sectors and EPA Regions. 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. … Usually, the process of getting this oil from deep below Earth's surface doesn't cause large-scale problems. The FOSC, in consultation with federal and state agencies, determines the level of cleanup required and when federal response operations will terminate. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry (ATSDR) Regional Response Team (RRT) representative is a federal health resource seldom tapped by USCG FOSCs yet routinely supports EPA in Superfund in assessing health risk and assisting with community meetings. But areas used by the community of Cordova for recreational, subsistence, and commercial fishing were hit, in addition to areas where people were culturally active. 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. Crisis communications, i.e., how an organization handles critical situations that put an organization in peril, is one PIO responsibility. They see themselves as keepers of the land and water, for themselves, their children, their grandchildren, and future generations.”. Ritchie said that for communities in Alaska, seeing coverage of the 2010 spill was like experiencing Exxon Valdez all over again. The media reports public expressions of concern about ecological impacts when oil spills occur. The effects of oil spills are worse when the site is near coastal communities. 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. Anyone can file a lawsuit and the RP is most likely to be the focus of plaintiff lawsuits. Add Well Site Guard to Your Environmental, Social and Governance Strategy. The community of Cordova, where Ritchie spent the majority of her time, was not hit directly by the oil from Exxon Valdez. Long-term effects of oil spills in Bodo, Nigeria Environmental devastation, ruined economy and deteriorating health afflict Bodo community years after Shell oil spill. Citizens, media, academia, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and some in government now talk about transparency. Office of Response and Restoration. If this is your home … Critical success factors (CSFs) are the set of things that must go right if an operation is to succeed; they are key areas of activity in which favorable results are absolutely necessary. An Interview by Scott Berinato, Deepwater Horizon: A Preliminary Bibliography of Published Research and Expert Commentary. 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. Prevent the Costly Environmental Impacts of Oil Spills. Resilience indicators of entities with responsibility for disaster management in a pre-disaster context include: shared understanding of hazards faced by communities, collaboration on hazard and vulnerability assessments, collective identification of gaps in capabilities, formation of horizontal and vertical coordinating bodies and MOUs to enable coordination, and addressing both interoperability among communications/information technologies and issues of “cultural interoperability” among diverse responding organizations. Ritchie said the most important thing for communities to keep in mind when they’re concerned about a risk of marine pollution is that they shouldn’t get complacent about preparedness and response activities. Oil spills can damage the environment and the wildlife and marine life that depend on it. Oils spills are defined as the release1 of any type of oil that contaminates numerous environments including, land, air and water but primarily affect the ocean. Photographs of oiled wildlife and oiled shorelines convey at a glance the effects of marine pollution on the environment. Research, Part of a Special Feature on Vulnerability and Adaptation to Oil Spills. 1  When an oil slick from a large spill reaches a beach, oil coats and clings … The site with top-notch information is a good idea. When a massive amount of oil is spilled into these areas, it harms the health of marine life. With regard to human health and safety, one slide showed that “no spill related public injuries, illness, or death” remains a critical success factor. OPA 90 created the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF). Generally oil spills are not viewed as a public health issue since operational practice keeps the public away from the hazards. A growing body of evidence demonstrates the physical, mental, and community health of historical oil spills. However, public perceptions regarding health risks from oil spills and dispersants have been reported in the media, reports, and journals (Belter 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. Under OPA 90, the RP is liable for removal costs incurred by government entities and a private parties such as OSROs, or cleanup contractors. Beyond environmental impacts, people are affected too. The claims process is separate from the payment of removal costs which are authorized in the response decision making process. The response organization must be capable of sustaining effective operations until the emergency and the threat(s) to human health and the environment have been resolved. Provide your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. A spill in Hartley Bay would have the potential to damage the way of life and the culture. Oil is a valuable resource, and we have to consider its expansion possibilities until the source dies. Greiner et al. As they search for … They lead to a corrosive community characterized by unusually high levels of tension, conflict, ongoing litigation and chronic psychological stress. Key Business Drivers (KBDs) based on the best response model. 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). Evidence of human dimensions impacts has been documented in peer-reviewed literature. The requirements of the claims process are problematic for the claimants if they can’t produce documented proof of the damage and the basis for their compensation. 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. But procedures to move human dimensions from being on the radar to planned action are lacking. One aspect of resilience is self-sufficiency. Economic impacts of oil spills generally include cost of clean-up and compensation, damage to agricultural lands, fishery and wildlife. August 25, 2010. The CSFs and best response recognized the importance of human dimension aspects of oil spills, even if not explicitly using those words. One clear theme seemed to permeate the social media commentary during the summer of 2010. It was the lack of confidence and trust in the capacity and intentions of both public and private institutions—including the federal government, BP and the mainstream media (Pew, 2010). Without this, there would be no life in the sea. Traveling to Prince Rupert takes the better part of a day. Since ICS is a hierarchical (vertical) command and control system, derived from years of use to manage wildfires, critics say that it has limited ability to mesh well with the ways in which many crisis-relevant organizations operate during disasters—that is, it has weakness in the area of “cultural interoperability” (Waugh and Tierney, 2007). “There’s nothing you can control with natural disasters, but with a technological disaster we have this notion of ‘We thought we had things under control, we thought we had the technology we needed to make things safe.’ But instead we see we have beliefs about a loss of control,” Ritchie said. Floods, terrorism, and oil spills are considered disaster agents. 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