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No Longer Counting Preventative Environmental Benefits from Oil Spills

No Longer Counting Preventative Environmental Benefits from Oil Spills

OECA currently maintains a national measure for reporting the volume of oil spills prevented as a result of federal enforcement.  The measure, “Volume of Oil Spills Prevented (Gallons)” included reporting based on two types of cases.  The first type addressed a potential spill with the amount reported being the facility’s oil storage capacity -- typically based on either an SPCC or an FRP enforcement action.  The second type addressed actual oil spills with the preventative amount reported being the actual amount spilled.  This was done under the assumption that the enforcement action is preventing another future spill of equal size.


Recently, in response to a proposal to employ the second approach to counting benefits from a very large oil spill case, OECA’s Assistant Administrator concluded that it is not appropriate to use this approach for calculating preventative benefits where a spill has already occurred, i.e., to take credit for preventing a future spill of the same volume based solely on the volume of the last spill.  The AA stated that this approach is simply too speculative.  Therefore, beginning in FY13, the regions should not enter into ICIS preventative benefit amounts addressing oil spills.   For FY 13 and beyond, the Agency will not report any such amounts as part of the “Volume of Oil Spills Prevented (Gallons)” measure.  Headquarters will work with the regions to change previously entered FY 2013 oil spill preventative benefit values where needed.


For further information, please contact Daniel Palmer, OC,; 202-564-5034 or Donna Inman, OC,; 202-564-2511.

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