SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1984

Development and Implementation of Guidelines for Dispersant Use: Regional Response Teams


Since 1978, dispersant use guidelines have been developed and implemented for regional response teams (RRTs) in standard federal Regions IX and X, to enhance the RRTs' ability to respond rapidly to requests to use dispersants. The guidelines define the data necessary to give approval. These data include physical, chemical, and biological parameters associated with spilled oil and dispersants. A decision to use dispersants is based on balancing the economic, social, and natural resource costs associated with oil spills. Damages expected from spills not treated with dispersants are compared to damages expected if the oil is treated. The objective of the guidelines is to help minimize the damage to natural resources. Specific criteria were developed by the RRTs as minimum standards for documentation of dispersant application, including the recording of dispersant type and application rates, visual observation of dispersant effectiveness, and monitoring environmental impacts. This paper summarizes the progress of two RRTs in responding to requests for dispersant use, developing dispersant guidelines, and recommending minimum standards for documentation. Physical, chemical, and biological factors used in the decision process are also reviewed. Finally, the paper discusses the importance of resource protection and monitoring.

Author Information

Pavia, R
Smith, RW
Price: $25.00
Contact Sales
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Developed by Committee: F20
Pages: 378–389
DOI: 10.1520/STP30247S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-4906-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0400-6