The Royal Society of Canada has released an Expert Panel report on The Behaviour and Environmental Impacts of Crude Oil Released into Aqueous Environments. The report is publicly available for download. Panel Chair Dr. Kenneth Lee will be giving a presentation of the report's findings on Wednesday, November 25 in Calgary. View slides from this presentation.
The Expert Panel was set-up in response to a request from the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). The panel is asked to address the following questions:
1. How do the various types of crude oils compare in the way they behave when mixed with surface fresh, brackish or sea waters under a range of environmental conditions?
2. How do the various crude oils compare in their chemical composition and toxicity to organisms in aquatic ecosystems?
3. How do microbial processes affect crude oils in aquatic ecosystems, thereby modifying their physical and chemical properties and toxicity?
4. Is the research community able to relate, with reliable predictions, the chemical, physical and biological properties of crudes to their behaviour, toxicity and ability to be remediated in water and sediments?
5. Given the current state of the science, what are the priorities for research investments?
6. How should these scientific insights be used to inform optimal strategies for spill preparedness, spill response and environmental remediation?