Development and application of damage assessment modeling: example assessment for the North Cape oil spill

Deborah French McCay
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2003, 47 (9): 341-59
Natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) models for oil spills have been under development since 1984. Generally applicable (simplified) versions with built-in data sets are included in US government regulations for NRDAs in US waters. The most recent version of these models is SIMAP (Spill Impact Model Application Package), which contains oil fates and effects models that may be applied to any spill event and location in marine or freshwater environments. It is often not cost-effective or even possible to quantify spill impacts using field data collections. Modeling allows quantification of spill impacts using as much site-specific data as available, either as input or as validation of model results. SIMAP was used for the North Cape oil spill in Rhode Island (USA) in January 1996, for injury quantification in the first and largest NRDA case to be performed under the 1996 Oil Pollution Act NRDA regulations. The case was successfully settled in 1999. This paper, which contains a description of the model and application to the North Cape spill, delineates and demonstrates the approach.

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