Martha Grabowski, the McDevitt Chair in Information Systems, chaired a 2-year National Research Council policy study on ‘Responding to Oil Spills in the Arctic Marine Environment’ that was released to the public on April 23, 2014. Grabowski briefed the report to the 8 agency sponsors* in a pre-release briefing on Earth Day, April 22nd, in Washington, DC.
The report recommended that more benchmark Arctic environmental, biological and oceanic information; research investigating the tradeoffs and impacts of oil spill response technologies in the Arctic; investments in Arctic infrastructure and logistics; and improvements in structured and inclusive decision processes with local impacted community members are needed for effective Arctic oil spill response.
Grabowski also briefed Senators Begich (D-Alaska) and Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Congressional staff and committees, including the Senate Commerce and Energy Committees, the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee, and the House Energy committee on April 22 and 23rd in Washington, DC.
Grabowski will brief the State Department on the report on May 12, and will give a public webinar to Washington NGOs on May 12. She will give a briefing in Anchorage to Alaska constituents and will take the report briefings to Arctic North Slope villages in Alaska in June and July.
Interviews and coverage of the report were provided by the Houston Chronicle, Science, National Geographic, Reuters, Alaska Public Radio, the Alaska Dispatch and Alaska Daily News, a variety of environmental and oil industry publications, as well as in press releases from the agency sponsors, the Senators and the Congressional committees.
Grabowski will present the report at the International Oil Spill Conference in Savannah May 7-9, 2014.
A free download of the report: Responding to Oil Spills in the U.S. Arctic Marine Environment
* Sponsors: American Petroleum Institute, Arctic Research Commission, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (Dept of Interior), Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (Dept of Interior), US Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Marine Mammals Commission, and the Oil Spill Recovery Institute.