Estimating pipeline oil spill volumes using environmental site assessment information
Green, Chad J
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When a reportable oil spill occurs, stakeholders expect the responsible party to issue a release volume estimate as part of the mitigation accountability. One method of estimating a spill volume is to use environmental assessment data to enumerate the total volume of petroleum hydrocarbons detected in the environment. This method was applied to two terrestrial based pipeline spill case studies. The assessment data was used to create a conceptual site model which, along with the liquid petroleum hydrocarbon density and soil bulk density, was synthesized to estimate the spill volumes. The case study data was collected at the time of each release for assessment, delineation, and remediation purposes. Using the data to estimate spill volumes was ancillary and complementary to its original purpose. The practical implication is that environmental assessment and remediation practitioners can readily adopt and implement this method at terrestrial based spills. Keywords: oil spill, mass balance, environmental remediation, pipeline release, spill volume estimate.
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