Guide on Oil Spill Response in Ice and Snow Conditions (I585E) (2017 Edition)

Number of Pages:
Published Date:
October 2017
Book Height:
250 mm
Book Width:
210 mm
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This guide discusses response to a marine or coastal oil spill in ice and snow conditions. It looks at the effects of an oil spill and provides guidance on cleanup strategies and development of response plans.

This guide will assist incident managers and decision makers in implementing an effective response to an oil spill in ice or snow conditions.

It identifies the differences in the behaviour of oil in ice at different times in the ice cycle and in different areas and discusses the effectiveness of the various response options. It provides guidance on planning and preparation for an incident and safe implementation of response strategies.


The Guide on oil spill response in ice and snow conditions developed by Norway and Canada in cooperation with the Arctic Council’s Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response Working Group (EPPR WG), was finalized at the third session of the Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 3) and was approved by the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) at its seventieth session in October 2016.

Differences in the behaviour of oil in ice at different times in the ice cycle and in different areas affect every aspect of oil spill response planning and preparation. This Guide aims to identify and describe the key considerations directly associated with a response to a marine oil spill in ice and snow conditions anywhere in the world. By addressing elements of planning and preparedness for marine and coastal oil spills, in addition to the fate and behaviour of oil spills in ice and snow as well as potential response strategies and options, this guide aims to assist incident managers and decision makers in safely implementing an effective response in ice and snow conditions.

The Guide does not consider response strategies needed to respond to oil spills in open-water conditions.

Part I – Introduction

Part II – Developing Response Plans and the Decision Process

Chapter 1: Response objectives

Chapter 2: Stages of a response

Chapter 3: Feasibility: opportunities and constraints

Chapter 4: Net Environmental Benefit Analysis (NEBA)

Chapter 5: The decision process

Part III – Background: Key Planning and Response Elements

Chapter 1: Marine and coastal oil spill scenarios

Chapter 2: Coastal and marine ice environments

Chapter 3: Coastal processes and shoreline types in ice- and snow-affected coastal regions

Chapter 4: Response infrastructure and logistics in ice- and snow-affected marine and coastal regions

Part IV – Oil Spills in Ice and Snow: Behaviour, Fate and Effects

Chapter 1: Oil in ice fate and behaviour

Chapter 2: The effects of spilled oil in ice- and snow-affected marine and coastal environments

Part V – Marine Strategies and Response Options for Oiled Ice and Snow

Chapter 1: Background and introduction

Chapter 2: Detection, delineation, monitoring and tracking

Chapter 3: Mechanical containment and recovery

Chapter 4: Dispersion and Oil-Mineral Aggregates (OMA)

Chapter 5: Controlled burning

Chapter 6: Summary of marine spill response effectiveness

Part VI – Coastal Response in Ice and Snow

Chapter 1: Shoreline assessment and shoreline treatment decisions

Chapter 2: Shoreline treatment strategies and options for oiled ice and snow

Part VII – Oil spill response safety for operations in ice and snow

Chapter 1: Principles of safe operations

Chapter 2: Risk identification and mitigation (checklists)

Chapter 3: Job Safety Analysis

Annex A: Oil Classification

Annex B: Vessel Traffic Patterns in Ice-covered Waters

Annex C: Trends in Oil and Gas Activities in Ice-covered Waters

Annex D: Ice Cycles

Annex E: Possible Vessel Spill Scenarios and Case Studies

As a specialised agency of the United Nations, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.

In other words, its role is to create a level playing-field so that ship operators cannot address their financial issues by simply cutting corners and compromising on safety, security and environmental performance. This approach also encourages innovation and efficiency.

Shipping is a truly international industry, and it can only operate effectively if the regulations and standards are themselves agreed, adopted and implemented on an international basis. And IMO is the forum at which this process takes place.

Number of Pages:
Published Date:
October 2017
Book Height:
250 mm
Book Width:
210 mm

International Maritime Organization

Binding Format: