The Bouchard-120 and Chalk Point Spill Responses: Objectives and Performance Metrics
Oil spills present a chronic threat to the environmental security of most major port While mitigation of the risk of oil spills should include prevention, major oil spills remain periodic occurrences. Consequently, spill preparedness and response are critical aspects of minimizing the damage caused by spills. Nonetheless, any major spill response engages multiple stakeholder and public groups that may have different objectives. Currently, spill managers must balance conflicts in the midst of a crisis using ad hoc or heuristic approaches that may be difficult to justify or communicate. Public expectations are particularly challenging to manage. In some cases, the spill response may be perceived as a failure despite the response agency's best efforts. A systematic approach to stating varied spill objectives and tracking progress may result in better management and communication and improve the credibility of spill managers. This research studies two separate spill incidents to reveal the different types of objectives held by engaged personnel and the ways that they assess the progress of the response. A total of 30 interviews are conducted and interpreted using a grounded theory approach to reveal salient objectives. Where possible, metrics relating to these objectives are elicited and the results for each spill compared. Although the quality of the study metrics is not examined in detail, we find that some spill objectives are more readily stated in terms of performance metrics than others, suggesting that spill managers may benefit from greater guidance on how to gauge progress or set goals in areas such as protection of public health and safety or mitigation of sociopolitical or economic impacts.
KeywordsPerformance Metrics Local Official Salient Objective Public Meeting Responsible Party
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Glaser B, Strauss A. 1967. The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago: Aldine.Google Scholar
- 2.Glaser B. 1992. Basics of Grounded Theory. Mill Valley, CA: Sociology Press.Google Scholar
- 3.National Research Council 2000a. International Conflict Resolution After the Cold War. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
- 4.NOAA. 2001. Characteristics of Response Strategies: A Guide for Spill Response Planning in Marine Environments. A joint publication of the American Petroleum Institute, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Coast Guard, and US Environmental Protection Agency: Seattle WA. http://response.restoration.noaa.gov/book_shelf/910_response.pdfGoogle Scholar
- 5.Seager TP, Satterstrom FK, Tuler SP, Kay R, Linkov I. 2006. Typological Review of Environmental Performance Metrics (with Illustrative Examples for Oil Spill Response). Integrated Environmental Assessment & Management. In press.Google Scholar
- 6.Tuler SP, Kay R, Seager TP, Linkov I. 2006. Objectives and Performance Metrics In Oil Spill Response: The Bouchard-120 And Chalk Point Spill Responses. SERI Report 06-001. Social and Environmental Research Institute: Greenfield, MA. Available at www.seri-us.org/publications.htmlGoogle Scholar