Significance and Use
3.1 One of the key considerations in making sound cleanup decisions for oiled shorelines is the relative sensitivity of the impacted area. Some areas are very sensitive and certain cleaning methods could cause more harm than benefit. In such cases, natural recovery will be the preferred approach. In other cases, depending on the type of oil, the amount of oil present may be so extensive that recovery will be significantly delayed or not occur at all unless active intervention is carried out.
3.2 This guide presents summary information taken from publications listed in Section 2 on the relative physical and biological sensitivities of shorelines for coastal and inland habitats. Use this guide together with the referenced publications and ASTM guides to make informed decisions prior to undertaking cleaning operations. Consult appropriate government agencies according to law.
3.3.1 Shoreline type (substrate, grain size, tidal elevation, etc.),
3.3.2 Biological productivity, diversity and vulnerability,
3.3.3 Exposure to wave and tidal energy, and
3.3.4 Ability to conduct cleanup without further damage.
1.1 This guide provides information on shoreline types and sensitive habitats that can be used as guidance for selecting appropriate cleaning techniques following an oil spill. This guide does not address protected archaeological, historical, or cultural sites.
1.2 This guide’s emphasis is on typical physical and biological attributes of coastal and inland habitats that could be at risk from oil spills. It reviews and encompasses the entire spectrum of shoreline types representing a wide range of sensitivities. It is largely based on NOAA’s and API’s publications listed in Section 2.
1.3 This guide provides only very broad guidance on cleaning strategies for the various habitats. For more in-depth guidance, the reader is referred to Section 2, Referenced Documents.
1.4 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.
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