Short Courses

An Introduction to the Environmental Unit (EU) for Non-EU Personnel
Trainers: NOAA, Texas GLO, Ramboll, others

An oil spill is fundamentally an environmental event, therefore, in many cases, the success of an emergency response can hinge on the strength of the Environmental Unit (EU). This course aims to educate personnel who normally fill other ICS positions about the roles and responsibilities of the EU and how they relate to other positions inside and outside of the Incident Command System (ICS); and how the EU influences decisions made throughout a response. The EU is often tasked with supporting the response effort by identifying resources at risk; managing the Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (SCAT) program; leading Endangered Species Act (Section 7) and National Historic Preservation Act (Section 106) Consultations, managing waste stream, and coordinating internal and external environmental stakeholder issues. This will be a discussion-based course taught by several experienced EU practitioners representing federal, state, and responsible party perspectives. The discussion will be practical, informative and lively, so come join us.


Coastal Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (field work)
Trainers: OSRL

A shoreline response usually presents the greatest challenge in terms of management and can potentially be the most expensive part of an oil spill response. As soon as the oil hits the shoreline, the amount of time, effort and resources increases. Shoreline Clean-up Assessment Technique (SCAT) is a well-established systematic approach which is used to document the status of oiled shorelines and their subsequent treatment recommendations (i.e. clean-up methods). This 1 day course will look at the fundamentals needed to implement and be part of a SCAT programme, from looking at the character and dynamics of coastal zones and how oil behaves on different shoreline types to managing a shoreline assessment programme and developing the most appropriate end-points. The course will provide delegates with first-hand experience in assessing a shoreline and develop an understanding of the dynamics that control oil behaviour and the physical environmental factors that determine clean-up options. The course instructors will be from Oil Spill Response Ltd, Owens Coastal Consultants and Polaris Applied Sciences.


Arctic and Cold Weather Oil Spill Response Considerations, Methods and Tactics
Trainers: Alaska Clean Seas

Instructors will present this course describing the tactics and techniques used in Arctic oil spill response, with emphasis on cold weather (winter) conditions. Presentations include cold weather spill site safety; spilled oil behavior in cold regions; challenges and limitations in Arctic response; best available technologies for tracking and delineation of oil; response tactics for oil in ice conditions; current research and development areas; and training for success in Arctic response operations. This course will provide an overview level of cold weather oil spill response considerations, aimed at an audience already possessing a working knowledge of response issues and equipment, but unfamiliar with operations in remote, cold weather Arctic environments.


Basic Oil Forecasting and Modeling
Trainers: NOAA, SINTEF, RPS

This course will introduce the fundamentals of oil spill transport, fate and effects analyses using computer modeling. Applications include forecasting, hindcasting, spill response planning and risk assessment in marine and inland waters. The morning session will begin with the basics of oil spill science as it pertains to modeling, with examples using oil spill models from RPS (previously ASA), Sintef, and NOAA. It will then provide an overview of cases using modeling, including differences in approach between offshore versus terrestrial modeling, inclusion of response activities, use in drills, spill response planning, environmental risk assessment and injury (natural resource damage) assessment.

The afternoon session will be hands-on: applying what was learned in the morning session to answer questions about oil spill fate and transport. Participants will get hands-on experience using the General NOAA Operational Modeling Environment (GNOME) model for predicting oil fate and transport. These scenarios will use GNOME Location Files -- regional files which have been setup for multiple U.S. (and a few international) regions. In addition, we will demonstrate the use of external forecast models and environmental data which can be acquired through the GNOME Online Oceanographic Data Server (GOODS). Although the emphasis of the course will be on the use of these tools for drills and planning, the fundamental understanding acquired will be applicable to other models and other use-cases. A laptop computer with WiFi will be required to participate in the hands-on exercises.


Safety and Health Awareness Training for Oil Spill Response and Cleanup Workers
Trainers: OSHA, NIEHS

Oil spill response and cleanup workers face potential hazards from oil byproducts, dispersants, detergents, and degreasers. Drowning, heat illness, and falls also pose potential hazards, as can encounters with insects, snakes, and other wild species native to the impacted areas. In these situations, OSHA goals include ensuring that workers receive appropriate training and personal protective equipment (PPE). This course will provide awareness level training to workers who have the potential for exposure to hazards in the course of their job duties following an oil spill. This training does NOT replace additional duty specific training or PPE specific training requirements. Regardless of work scope, many topics covered in this awareness training have corresponding OSHA standards—such standards must be met in order to safely and legally perform associated job duties.


Oil in the Aquatic Environment: Sources, Fate, Effects, Monitoring and Response Options
Trainers: ExxonMobil

The purpose of this course is to describe the types of crude oils and refined petroleum substances that may be released into aquatic environments and the analytical and toxicological methods and models that are used to quantify fate and exposure, adverse effects and comparative risks of potential spill response options. This course is aimed at individuals interested in improving their understanding of the principles that dictate the fate and effects of oils and spill response agents. A key objective will be to highlight how the complex nature and composition of oil varies and needs to be quantitatively considered for designing, conducting and interpreting lab and field studies. A full day short course sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute will consist of six modules that are taught by experts in this field providing different stakeholder perspectives.


Fundamentals of Oil Spill Response
Trainers: ITOPF

This course will explore the unique features of oil spills and accepted tenets of effective preparedness and response. Using a number of case histories, our presenters will highlight key advances in spill-combating policy and technology that have resulted from landmark events. This course will be taught in accord with the International Maritime Organization's model course structure and content.


Regulatory Programs: Facility Response Plans
Trainers: US EPA

This course describes the requirements and expectations for Facility Response Plan (FRP) plan holders and will cover: 1) Introduction and purpose of the FRP regulations, including applicability criteria; 2) Plan requirements under §112.20 and Appendices E and F plus the revised PREP guidelines, including the relationship of the FRP to the National Contingency Plan, Area Contingency Plans, and other preparedness activities conducted by USCG and DOT-PHMSA; 3) Steps in implementing an FRP and preparing for an FRP inspection and a government-initiated unannounced exercise (GIUE); and 4) Common problems observed during GIUEs and recommendations for improvement of plans.


Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Rule
Trainers: US EPA

The short course will provide an overview of the U.S. EPA SPCC Rule and an understanding of how the EPA implements the spill prevention program which regulates inland and certain offshore oil facilities. Individuals attending this session will gain a valuable understanding of how to comply with the federal oil spill prevention at their facilities. The course serves to provide guidance to international stakeholders on the USEPA's approach to inland oil spill prevention. This four hour overview will cover: Storage tanks and piping; Transfer operations; Facility diagrams; Closure requirements; Yearly training; Brittle fracture evaluations; Integrity testing; Security; Secondary containment; Common problems observed during agency compliance monitoring inspections and recommendations for improvement of oil spill prevention plans. The course instructor is the national Program Manager for the EPAs Oil Spill Prevention Program and leads the implementation of the Spill Control and Countermeasures Rule (SPCC) codified at 40 CFR part 112.


Slow Water and Fast Water Booming Techniques
Trainers: US EPA

Course work will include boom types, boom techniques, oil characteristics, collecting oil, oil spill response strategies, alternative technologies, and disposal options. The course addresses deployment of boom on lakes or rivers; established oil recovery sites; protection of sensitive areas and shoreline with boom; operation of boats on lakes or rivers; installation of dikes, dams, and filter fences on streams; and installation of French drains and cut-off walls. After completion of the course the participants should be able to demonstrate or discuss small boat operations, various methods of boom deployment and anchoring, recovery site selection and operations, and health and safety issues relevant to oil spill response and recovery operations.


Aerial Observations of Oil: For Pollution Responders
Trainers: NOAA & ITOPF

Pollution Responders completing this course will be able to demonstrate the use of standard terminology to effectively identify, monitor and map oil on water to support response activities using sketching, camera & GPS as well as how to plan for a successful overflight and coordinate effectively with Aircrews. While the focus of the course will be on direct visual observation from an observer, some detail will be provided on the use of remote sensing technologies such as recent developments in the use of sensor packages on unmanned aerial system (UAS) platforms.


Course Title – Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Response Data Management and Sharing
Trainers: NOAA

An efficient Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) requires upfront and early communications on data collected during the spill response. At the same time information from the NRDA may be valuable for the emergency response and effective data sharing creates technical, logistical and financial efficiencies. This course will provide training on data management best practices, including guidelines and data sharing agreements, review of federal data requirements, and with discussion about how to implement these practices during a response. Case studies will highlight efficiencies and opportunities to improve on current practices. The course would expose participants to NOAA's data management tools with a focus on the Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA) and Data Integration, Visualization, Exploration, and Reporting (DIVER). These NOAA practices and tools have been a primary option for data management and sharing for many states and Federal partners during recent incidents. This training will support effective coordination and understanding between the emergency response and NRDA data collectors.


Oil Spill Response 201: Beyond the Basics
Trainers: ExxonMobil & OSRL

The underlying concepts for this 4 hour course are drawn from a number of emergency response training courses that have been provided by and to government and industry responders over the years. The purpose of this workshop is to continue the discussion between researchers and spill response practitioners in conjunction with real world incident management considerations in order to enhance the use of science in support of emergency response decision-making. A good understanding beyond the basics of spill response capabilities and realities by a wide range of stakeholders and interested parties is important for the broader spill response community to be as effective as possible.


Desired outcomes include:

  • Greater understanding of the imperatives behind response actions and the decision-making process (especially as they often occur during a very hectic time with limited opportunities for deep scientific discourses)
  • Exploration of the potential roles of Research Scientists and how they may be used as Technical Specialists
  • Enhanced awareness of ICS/IMS and SIMA/NEBA processes used during the planning, initial, and ongoing phases of an emergency response
  • A focus on the science associated with spill response and how specific research results can help inform the decision-making process

Who Should Attend:

  • Members of the wider spill response community to take part in the ongoing discussion of the science and reality of emergency response
  • Academic researchers wishing to engage with response practitioners and government agency personnel
  • Other participants wanting to learn more about emergency preparedness and response

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