Due to the difficulties of reacting and reducing risks to human health and the environment, it is necessary to effectively combat oil pollution through regional and international regulations. So how do international treaties regulate oil spills in the Arctic? OpRC does not impose any requirements for the design of the well, pipelines, facilities or safety management. Instead, it is committed to cooperating on post-spill response operations. It requires operators and states to plan emergencies and put in place response plans and systems. Under the OPRC, states must provide for the definition of a minimum of pre-defined equipment to combat oil pollution; An exercise and training program Detailed plans and communication capabilities for response and an appropriate coordination mechanism. Although the requirement to have such equipment at their disposal is enshrined in the legislation of the Arctic Coastal States,16) Russian Government Decree No. 1189 «On the organization of the prevention and liquidation of oil spills on the continental shelf of the Russian Federation, inland waters and in the territorial sea» (November 14, 2014) 47 Sobranie Zakonodael`stva Rossiiskoi Federatsii 6549. US Arctic OCS Final Rule, `Oil and Gas and Sulfur Operations on the Outer Continental Shelf – Requirements for Exploratory Drilling on the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf` (81 FR 46478 2016). the proximity of these devices to drilling sites, its transport in bad weather and the efficiency are questionable. In the United States, for example, the closest air base to the Coast Guard is on the Arctic coast in Kodiak, Alaska, about 900 miles from Point Barrow, Alaska`s northernmost point.17) Pew Environmental Group (2010) Oil Spill Prevention and Response in the U.S. Arctic Region: Unexamined Risks, Unacceptable Consequences, p. 22 The Arctic Council`s Working Prevention Group on Emergency , Preparedness, and Response (EPPR), organize an Arctic oil spill response table exercise on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. The Table Exercise (TTX) aims to test and improve cooperation and coordination processes in the event of a real oil spill that could affect Arctic Council countries.
A fundamental difference is that an oil spill in the Arctic is likely to remain there for a very long time and the impact on the environment can be severe and sustainable. The nature of Arctic ecosystems makes them particularly susceptible to marine pollution, because they depend on the oceans as a food source, have a low reproductive rate, and because many habitats and communities are specialized. The first response consists of internal notification and the activation of a national, binational or regional response. In the context of this Article 4 activity, it is considered that a host country has activated its internal or existing partnership agreements to facilitate the response. How can the data improve the response to oil spills in the Arctic and how will the rapidly changing Arctic impact the future response to oil pollution? We spoke with two experts involved in the development of COSRVA, ivin Aarnes, Senior Specialist in Risk and Environmental Prevention at DNV GL, and Synnéve Lunde, Senior Advisor to the Norwegian Coastal Administration, to find out. While shipping is largely regulated by international law, particularly within the international Maritime Organization`s agenda, upstream oil accidents are not equally regulated.4)Dolick R (2012) Multilateral Agreement on Oil Spill Preparedness and Response: Lessons to Be Learned for the Arctic.