Risk Analysis

Analysis of Inland Crude Oil Spill Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Emergency Response in the Midwest United States

Journal Article

Although coastal oil spills tend to be highly publicized, crude oil spills in the United States affect inland areas relatively often. Spills to inland areas often affect sensitive environments and can have greater impacts to health and welfare than spills to coastal areas. For these reasons, the authors investigated inland crude oil spill threats, vulnerabilities, and emergency response in the midwestern U.S. states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. These states work with the Region 5 Offices of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Region 5's geospatial data in the Inland Sensitivity Atlas were turned into metrics indicating inland crude oil spill threats and vulnerabilities among the Region's sub‐watersheds. These threats and vulnerabilities were weighted using data from the National Response Center and the Department of Energy's Environmental Restoration Priority System. The locations of the Region's emergency responders were geocoded in GIS. The GIS calculated the emergency response times to the Region's sub‐watersheds. The resulting scatter plots are connected to the sub‐watersheds in the map so stakeholders can (1) see the outlying sub‐watersheds of concern and (2) better understand how reducing threats and better response time can reduce the risk of inland crude oil spills.

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