The hazardous impact of oil spills on the environment

Impact on the Ocean Oil Spills: Impact on the Ocean Oil wastes that enter the ocean come from many sources, some being accidental spills or leaks, and some being the results of chronic and careless habits in the use of oil and oil products. Most waste oil in the ocean consists of oily stormwater drainage from cities and farms, untreated waste disposal from factories and industrial facilities, and unregulated recreational boating.

The hazardous impact of oil spills on the environment

Gulf Oil Spill | Smithsonian Ocean

How does oil affect the environment? Crude oil is used to make the petroleum products we use to fuel airplanes, cars, and trucks; to heat homes; and to make products such as medicines and plastics.

Although petroleum products make life easier, finding, producing, and moving crude oil may have negative effects on the environment. Technological advances in exploration, production, and transportation of oil and enforcement of safety and environmental laws and regulations help to avoid and reduce these effects.

Technology helps reduce the effects of drilling for and producing oil Exploring and drilling for oil may disturb land and marine ecosystems. Seismic techniques used to explore for oil under the ocean floor may harm fish and marine mammals.

Drilling an oil well on land often requires clearing an area of vegetation. However, technologies that significantly increase the efficiency of exploration and drilling activities also reduce effects on the environment.

Satellites, global positioning systems, remote sensing devices, and 3-D and 4-D seismic technologies make it possible to discover oil reserves while drilling fewer exploratory wells. Mobile and smaller slimhole drilling rigs reduce the size of the area that drilling activities affect. The use of horizontal and directional drilling makes it possible for a single well to produce oil from a much larger area, which reduces the number of wells necessary to develop an oil resource.

Hydraulic fracturing An oil production technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is used to produce oil from shale and other tight geologic formations.

This technique has allowed the United States to significantly increase domestic oil production and reduce U. Hydraulic fracturing has some effects on the environment. Fracturing rock requires large amounts of water, and it uses potentially hazardous chemicals to release the oil from the rock strata.

In some areas of the country, significant water use for oil production may affect the availability of water for other uses and can potentially affect aquatic habitats. Faulty well construction or improper handling may result in leaks and spills of fracturing fluids.

Hydraulic fracturing also produces large amounts of wastewater that may contain dissolved chemicals and other contaminants, which may require treatment before disposal or reuse. Because of the amount of water used and the complexity of treating some of the wastewater components, treatment and disposal are important and challenging issues.

Wastewater is frequently disposed of by injection into deep wells, typically into saltwater aquifers. The injection of wastewater can cause earthquakes that may cause damage and are large enough to be felt.

Oil spills Most oil spills are the result of accidents at oil wells or on the pipelines, ships, trains, and trucks that move oil from wells to refineries. Oil spills contaminate soil and water and may cause devastating explosions and fires.

The federal government and industry are developing standards, regulations, and procedures to reduce the potential for accidents and spills and to clean up spills when they occur. Congress passed the Oil Pollution Act ofwhich requires all new oil tankers built for use between U.

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The amount of oil spilled from ships dropped significantly during the s partly because of these double-hull standards. Fish swimming through Rigs-to-Reefs project Source: Courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources In response to several major accidents involving trains carrying crude oil, the U.

Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration established new standards for railroad tank cars, braking controls, and speed restrictions to reduce the potential for railroad accidents and oil spills. Restoring old well sites and creating artificial reefs Oil wells are plugged when they become uneconomic, and the area around the well may be restored.

Some old offshore oil rigs are tipped over and left on the sea floor in a Rigs-to-Reefs program. Within a year after a rig is toppled, barnacles, coral, sponges, clams, and other sea creatures cover the rig.

The hazardous impact of oil spills on the environment

These artificial reefs attract fish and other marine life, and they increase fish populations and recreational fishing and diving opportunities. Also on Energy Explained.Spill Response & Remediation FAQ. is a "discharge"?

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Article 12 of the Navigation Law, the legislation which applies to Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Compensation, defines a discharge as.

Dec 12,  · HAZARDOUS MATERIALS ACCIDENT RESPONSE ACTIONS. Injury to individuals and /or damage to the environment can be caused by any unplanned sudden or non-sudden release of hazardous materials. Pollution by Petroleum There is a wealth of research now, within the scientific discourse, that paints a very clear picture of the negative impacts of human society on natural ecosystems.

Human activity can be incredibly damaging and it often is, because it causes widespread disturbance in. The Waste Management and Prevention Division oversees the use, treatment and handling of hazardous and solid wastes. An oil spill is the release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment, especially the marine ecosystem, due to human activity, and is a form of term is usually given to marine oil spills, where oil is released into the ocean or coastal waters, but spills may also occur on spills may be due to releases of crude oil .

International Journal of Environmental Research, Vol. 1, No. 4, , pp Review Paper. Crude Oil Spills in the Environment, Effects and .

Environmental Effects - ITOPF