What Local Residents Need to Know About an Oil Spill
If an oil spill has occurred near you, it’s likely you’re wondering how it will affect you and how your area will be cleaned. There are many factors that impact how an oil spill will be handled and how it might impact local residents.
Size and location of the spill are the two most important factors affecting how a spill will be contained. Most oil drilling takes place underwater, where drilling companies have sophisticated oil spill containment systems to prevent and clean up spills. When a spill occurs on or near land, clean up and containment are different, since the spill cannot be contained underwater.
Most oil spills seem very large to the ordinary consumer, but when you take into account how much oil is used in a day, most spills are insignificant in terms of the oil loss. For example, the US uses 800 million gallons of oil per day. The largest oil spill to occur in the US was the Deepwater Horizon spill of 2010. During this spill about 126 million gallons of oil leaked into the ocean.
The biggest threat in an oil spill is to the environment, particularly marine life. Current oil spill containment systems are much more robust than those in past year, helping to minimize environmental damage.
Large spill containment and clean up are generally managed by the US government, to ensure no short cuts are taken in cleanup. If you are a local resident near a spill that is close to shore, local authorities will advise you as to any local impact you can expect.
So, if a local oil spill has you troubled, you can look to local authorities to provide you with answers you need about how you will be affected. Today’s oil spill containment systems will handle most of the cleanup and minimize as much impact as possible.