Match this file with outline bellow( also i attached it ). You need to add and change some Paragraphs. THE MOST IMPORTANT IS MATCHING THE OUTLINE. USE THE BOLD FONT for every title TYPICAL TECHNICAL REPORT OUTLINEI. Executive Summarya. Authorization and Scope of the Projectb. Methodsc. Summary1. Existing Situation2. Problem(s)3. Alternative Solutionsd. Conclusionse. RecommendationsII. Existing Situation and Problem(s)a. Existing Situation and Problem(s)b. Facts or Databasec. Problem StatementsIII. Alternative Solutionsa. General Criteriab. Databasec. Alternativesd. Cost AnalysisIV. Appendicesa. Glossary of Symbols and Abbreviationsb. References c. Calculationsd. Other Pertinent Data or Supporting Documentation
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report_exxon_disaster_analysis_.doc
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Running head: EXXON DISASTER ANALYSIS
Exxon Disaster Analysis
Name
Institution
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EXXON DISASTER ANALYSIS
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Executive summary
The Exxon Valdez oil spill, which occurred on March 24, 1989 still remains one of the
worst oil spills in American waters. The oil spill, which saw some 11 million gallons of oil
spilled led to an oil slick that cover over 1,300miles of the Prince William Sound. The spill led to
the destruction of the marine life along the Prince William Sound coastline. Although the exact
data on the deaths of the marine mammals and birds are not known, an estimate showed 250000
sea birds, 2800 sea Otters, 22 killer whales, 250 bald eagles, 300 harbor seals, and billions of
salmon and herring eggs. The impact of the spill can still be felt to date.
Different methods were used during the cleanup process after the spill. Such methods
included the use of chemical dispersants, in-situ burnings, and high pressure burning. Of the
three processes, the in-situ was the most reliable. The cleanup process faced several challenges
which included geographical remoteness, rugged shoreline, severe weather, and robust but
sensitive biological habitat.
Different risks and impacts can be associated with the Exxon Valdez oil spill, both
environmental and economic. The acute-phase mortality of the spill followed a familiar pattern
as other prior oil spill accidents. The long-term population impacts are of two distinct types,
chronic exposure of sediment affiliated species, and cascades of indirect effect. There was
evidence of chronic exposure among sediment affiliated species, such as otters, fish, and sea
ducks. Sediment-associated species were particularly affected because of their intimate
association with the sediments, especially for egg-laying and foraging. Studies revealed two
types of indirect interactions, the trophic cascade and the provision of biogenic environment.
Indirect interactions include the loss of vital individuals in socially organized inhabitants, which
subsequently undergo enhanced mortality or depressed reproduction.
EXXON DISASTER ANALYSIS
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One of the economic impact is commercial fishing. The oil spill led to the decrease in the
population of fish species such as herring and salmon, which eventually led to a decline in
fishery around the Prince William Sound. Although the salmon population would later recover,
the herring population remain low to date. The oil spill also led to a decline in tourism and
hospitality revenues. Nonetheless, a lot of people made money from the cleanup jobs that
resulted after the spill. However, with the inclusion of the fisheries and non-market value, the oil
spill’s long-term effect is a net loss, as the long term loss outweighs the revenues collected during
the cleanup process.
Non-market cost estimates used several contingent valuation methods in estimating the
value of the loss to the non-market environmental goods, such as willingness to pay and
willingness to accept. For the Exxon contingent valuation to be effective, it had to fulfill certain
objectives. The language, concepts, and questions used should be readily captured by
correspondents from varied life experiences and all educational levels. There was also need for
neutrality, so that the interests of all parties are taken into account. The scenarios and payment
mechanisms had to be believable to everyone.
Exxon used approximately $2.1 billion in the cleanup process, with some of the amount
going to the compensation of fishermen, some to a trust fund, and the rest to the Alaskan and U.S
governments.
EXXON DISASTER ANALYSIS
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Introduction
For over two decades, the Exxon Valdez oil spill remained the most massive oil spill on
American waters. It will only be engulfed in 2010 by the Deepwater Horizon explosion. The
Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker owned by the Exxon Shipping Company, spilled over eleven million
gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sounds in Alaska on March 24, 1989. The oil slick
covered 1300miles of coastline. The slick led to the death of thousands of otters, seabirds,
whales, and seals. Thirty years later, the effects of the oil spill can still be felt, both on the
ecosystem and the economy. Pockets of crude oil still remain in some locations.
The Exxon Valdez left the port of Alaska on March 23, 1898, bound for Long Beach,
California. Onboard the Exxon Valdez was 53 million gallons of Prudhoe Bay crude oil. The
ship would later strike the Bligh Reef, a well-known navigation hazard in Prince William
Sounds, four minutes past midnight on March 24, 1989. Just within half an hour of the accident,
the Chief Mate of the ship realized that all center and starboard cargo had been profoundly
compromised and were discharging oil. Photographs taken by the Alaska Department of
Environmental Conservation District Office, just four hours after boarding the ship, indicated
that about seven million gallons had been released (Shigenaka, 2014). The National
Transportation Safety Board would later estimate that by 6 am, on the morning of March 24,
nearly nine million gallons had been lost. Ultimately, the total gallons lost would rise to eleven
million.
Days and months after the grounding, investigators would later learn that one major cause
of the accident was the negligence of the crew, particularly the Captain. Investigators determined
that Captain Joseph Hazelwood and his team had been drinking in several establishments before
the ship departed for Long Beach, California. The drinking binge led to the Captain authorizing
an unlicensed third mate to steer the boat. It is important to note that an Alaskan Jury acquitted
EXXON DISASTER ANALYSIS
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the Captain of the charge of operating a vessel under the influence. However, the jury found him
guilty of negligent discharge of oil, a misdemeanor which led to the Captain being fined $50,000,
and 1,000 hours of community service.,
A year after the accident, the Exxon Valdez underwent repairment and returned to service
under a different name and in different waters. The change in location was due to the newly
adopted regulations by the United States Federal Government. It would operate in Europe as the
Exxon Mediterranean, S/R Mediterranean, and SeaRiver Mediterranean. After the European
Union banned single-hulled tankers, the ship moved to Asian waters, under the stewardship of a
Bangkok-based shipping company. It was converted into an ore carrier and renamed Dong Feng
Ocean (Shigenaka, 2014). In 2010, the ship collided with a bulk carrier. After its repair, the ship
was once again renamed Oriental Nicety. It would serve until 2012 when it was eventually sold
to an Indian company and dismantled.
The formal investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
determined that the root causes of the accident were more complex and extended beyond the
negligence of the crew. It had five major vital points:
1. The failure of the shipping company to provide a rested and sufficient team and
supervising the master.
2. The lack of competent pilot and escort services at Price William Sounds.
3. The failure of the United States Coast Guard to provide an efficient vessel traffic
system.
4. Failure of the Captain to provide a reliable navigation watch, probably due to
alcoholic impairment.
5. Failure of the third mate to properly navigate the ship, a problem that could have
arisen due to excessive workload and fatigue.
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Methods used in the cleanup after the Exxon Valdez oil spill
After the oil spill in 1989, the U.S coast guard, the Alaskan authorities, in collaboration
with NOAA, employed various methods to help in the cleanup of the waters and the shoreline.
High pressure, hot-water washing
This is a viable method of removing stranded oil from hard surfaces, such as seawalls and
large rocks along the shoreline. While practical, the approach was briefly used in Prince William
Sound but later abandoned by the technical teams due to its adverse effects, either directly or
indirectly, to the plants and animals along the affected zone, either temporarily or permanently
(Marietou et al. 2018). In the case of Prince William Sound, the method exposed the ecosystem
to more danger than earlier expected by the liaison committee. The committee established that if
misused, the high-pressure water streams can drive more oil into the beach sediments leading to
entrapment of oil or further contamination of clean water. Likewise, high pressure can drive oil
from the water surface into the water column (Marietou et al. 2018). The result is dispersion or
emulsification of oil, which could have an additional environmental impact.
Chemical dispersants
The chemical dispersant method is highly recommended for emergency response in the
event of oil spills on the surface of the water. The technique was the first to be deployed by the
NOAA after the aircraft team had surveyed the scope of the spill. The method attempts to clean
up the oil and to prevent the spill from reaching the shoreline by skimming and burning the oil at
the surface (Trembley et al. 2017). The spill was the most extensive application of dispersants
before the Deepwater Horizon of 2010. A dispersant contains solvents and surfactants. The
surfactants allow water and oil to mix easily, while the solvents help keep chemicals mixed and
help them in dissolving into the oil. By allowing oil and water to mix, the oil slick breaks into
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smaller oil droplets. The small oil droplets can easily blend into the water column and eventually
carried away by currents, where they attach to particles in the water column and evaporate or
settle to the bottom (Trembley et al. 2017). Although eight dispersant attempts were made at
Prince William Sound, the process was not successful. The reason for its failure is the delayed
response by the emergency team, which then allowed the oil speck to spread covering a wide
area.
In-situ burning
In-situ burning was heavily deployed in the cleanup of the spill in1989, and of all the
processes, registered the highest percentage of success. In-situ burning, also referred to as inplace burning, is the controlled burning of oil spilled from a vessel, pipeline, facility, or tank
truck, and must be close to where the spill has occurred (Bullock et al. 2019). The method was a
success in Prince William Sound because, unlike open water, the ice water of Alaska acts as a
natural boom, thereby keeping the oil thick enough to burn. Due to this reason, the burn
conducted on the first day of the Exxon Valdez spill resulted in the burning of 15,000-30,000
gallons of the oil at an estimated efficiency of 98% (Bullock et al. 2019). Although the process
was a success, it also had its limitations, particularly to the personnel deployed to use it. More
prolonged exposure of oil fumes and gases led to health complications that would later manifest
themselves in the years to come.
Challenges that faced the cleanup process after the Exxon Valdez oil spill
The cleanup teams met several challenges after the spill at Prince William Sound. One of
the significant challenges was the geographical remoteness of the location of the spill. The site of
Prince William Sound made it difficult for timely emergency response, and this led to the
delayed emergency cleanup operations. The first respondent team would take up to seven hours
after the incident to arrive at the location of the spill (Shigenaka, 2014). The rugged shoreline
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also contributed to the delayed cleanup effort. The rugged coastline limited some vessels from
accessing the Prince William Sound. Severe weather at the time of the accident meant that the
emergency and rescue teams had to put on hold the rescue missions for long periods to allow the
weather to clear up, a measure that guaranteed the safety of the cleanup personnel at the spill site
(Shigenaka, 2014). The robust but sensitive biological habitat also needed much attention.
Cleanup operations had to be analyzed and cleared to avoid further damage to the marine
ecosystem along the shoreline.
Exxon Valdez oil spill risks and impacts
The Exxon Valdez oil spill led to a widespread oil speck that would result in immediate
and futures dangers and effects. The risks are both environmental and economical.
Environmental risks and impacts
The ecological dangers had a wide range of effects on the ecosystem of Prince William
Sounds.
The toll
Prior oil spills have shown that it is quite difficult to gauge and convey the impacts of an
oil spill. An obvious measure of biological impact is the number of dead animals associated with
the spill. The most vivid of the Exxon Valdez oil spill’s effects were the direct mortalities. But
even with the direct mortalities, it was still hard to know the exact number of the death toll. The
most reliable estimates are 250000 sea birds, 2800 sea Otters, 22 killer whales, 250 bald eagles,
300 harbor seals, and billions of salmon and herring eggs.
Years of studies have revealed a new understanding of long-term biological effects and
recovery processes in a coastal ecosystem inhabited by abundant marine mammals, sea birds,
and large fishes. To clearly understand the delays in recovery and the emergence of long-term
impacts, scientists had to bring an ecosystem perspective to ecotoxicology. Under the ecosystem
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framework, ecotoxicology may include the interaction among multiple abiotic and biological
components, instead of treating each species separately (Peterson et al. 2003). In the following
years, differences emerged between the government and Exxon-funded scientists, particularly in
understanding how multiple processes come together to drive observed dynamics. However, the
two schools of thought agree on one fundamental issue: the oil in the ground persisted for over a
decade in extreme and toxic forms and was sufficiently bioavailable to induce massive biological
exposures, which resulted in long-term effects on the population level.
Studies show three pathways of induction of long-term impacts:
1. Indirect impacts of trophic and interaction cascades, both of which transmit impacts
beyond the acute-phase mortality.
2. Existence of oil, biological overexposures, and impacts on species living in the shallow
sediments.
3. Delayed population effects of sub-lethal doses including, growth, health, and
reproduction.
Acute-phase mortality
Acute mortality at Prince William Sound followed a pattern predictable from prior oil
spills. As previously observed, marine mammals and sea birds need continuous contact with the
sea surface, which exposes them to high risk from floating oil. The oiling of feathers or furs
results in loss of insulating capabilities, which in turn can lead to death from smothering,
hypothermia, ingestion of toxic hydrocarbons, and drowning.
Long-term population impacts
Chronic exposures of sediment-affiliated species
Chronic exposures were evident in sediment-associated species, such as fish, sea otters,
and sea ducks, even after years of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Studies showed that also after
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decades had passed, there was still a remarkable number of oil persisting in sedimentary refuges.
Sediment-associated species were particularly affected because of their intimate association with
the sediments, especially for egg-laying and foraging (Peterson et al. 2003). Scientists based their
prediction of oil risk to fishes on a short term acute toxicity testing, usually 1-4 days. The
specimens were subjected to laboratory exposures to the water-soluble fraction dominated by 1
and 2-ringed aromatic hydrocarbons. After the oil spill, scientists chronically exposed fish
embryos and larvae to partially weathered oil in dispersed forms of 3, 4, and 5-ringed aromatic
hydrocarbons, which are not present in the standard laboratory toxicity. The process helped
explain the accelerated mortality of incubating salmon eggs in streams with oil residues, four
years after the spill.
After four years, estimates showed that the otter recovery of about 4% annually had
fallen way below the 10% expected from previous population recovery after authorities
terminated the trade of sea otters. For example, at the heavily oiled northern knight island, sea
otters remained at half the estimated pre-spill numbers. On the other hand, the population
doubled at the unoiled Montague island between 1995 and 1998 (Peterson et al. 2003).
Population modeling also showed that sea otter survival in the oiled part of the Prince William
Sounds was lower in the years following the spill and declined instead of increasing after the
spill in 1989. Surprisingly, there was higher mortality of animals born after the spill, confirming
a significant contribution from chronic exposure.
Foraging sea otters also suffered chronic exposure to residual petroleum hydrocarbons
from ingestion of bivalve prey such as clam and mussels. In oiled waters, the prey slowly
metabolized hydrocarbons, which led to significantly elevated tissue contamination. The tissue
contamination persisted, particularly on shellfish until at least 1996.
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Of all the marine birds in the oiled areas, harlequin ducks showed the most expected
chronic impact. Using the radio tracking technique, researchers revealed higher mortality rates of
adult females while overwintering on heavily oiled Knight and Green island shores than on
unoiled Montague Island, a difference of 6%. Such a higher difference has a significant
implication for population trajectories (Peterson et al. 2003).
Persistent exposure to residual oil after the spill was also evident on other marine birds
that forage in shallow sediments. For instance, sea ducks that overwinter in coastal Alaska and
hunts in intertidal mussel beds, reduced in numbers in oiled waters as compared to unoiled
waters after the spill. Scientists did not observe any evidence of recovery through 1991. Pigeon
guillemots, which limits its foraging to the near-shore settings, also suffered acute mortality
during the spill. This observation was evident in the chicks, which after ten years of the spill,
showed no evidence of ongoing exposure to the toxics. However, the adults continued to show
proof of acute exposure to the toxic elements.
The study of the black oystercatcher supported the deduction that sub-lethal effects of
chronic exposure to toxic elements through the ingestion of oil led to the impact on populationlevel of shorebirds. For example, in 1989, pairs of black oystercatchers foraging on heavily oiled
territories showed declined incidents of breeding and smaller eggs than those that bred on
unoiled shores. Chick mortality also increased in proportion to the degree of shoreline oiling
heading into 1990. Studies would later reveal that black oystercatchers preyed on oiled mussels
and that adults preying on oiled molds between 1991 and 1992 fed the chicks more to achieve
less growth than on unoiled mussels (Peterson et al. 2003). The implication is reduced
productivity and developmental costs from the ingestion of toxins, just three years after the spill.
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The Cascades of indirect effects
Indirect effects are just as vital as direct trophic interactions in structuring ecosystems.
Cascading indirect effects can be delayed in operation, mainly because they are mediated
through alterations in an intermediary. There are two types of indirect interactions. The first type
is the trophic cascades. In this type of interaction, predators reduce the abundance of their prey,
which results in the release of the prey’s food species from control. The second is the provision
of a biogenic environment by organisms that creates a vital physical structure in the
environment.
According to studies, indirect interactions prolonged the recovery process on rocky
shorelines for more than a decade. The drastic loss of cover by …
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