New Research:

Behaviour and Environmental Impacts of Crude Oil Released into Aqueous Environment

The following is from the Royal Society of Canada website (click here) including a link for further information and participation opportunities: 


A solid scientific understanding of the behaviour and environmental impacts of crude oil if accidentally released into aqueous environments can make an important contribution to the identification of optimal strategies and regulatory requirements for spill preparedness, spill response, and environmental remediation. A panel of experts is asked to review the state of the science on how various kinds of conventional and unconventional crude oils transported in North America interact with the surface waters and associated sediments (suspended, shoreline, ocean/lake/river floor) in marine, estuarine and freshwater settings under a wide range of environmental conditions.


Specifically, 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 or when chemically treated for spill remediation ?
  2. How do the various crude oils compare in their toxicity to organisms in aquatic ecosystems?
  3. What should be done to ensure optimal microbial activity for rapid remediation of aquatic systems impacted by a spill?
  4. Is the research community able to relate, with reliable predictions, the chemical and physical 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 and regulatory requirements for spill preparedness, spill response and environmental remediation?

The panel will be holding a series of scientific stakeholder consultations between February and June 2015 which will be open and available to the public on the internet in real time as well as being made available later on the Society’s website. Formal oral presentations to the panel will be by invitation only, but the panel will accept all written contributions of scientific evidence and its interpretation. Research experts wishing to make an oral presentation to the Panel should contact %20rmacdonald(at)rsc-src(dot)caRussel MacDonald, Officer of Expert Panels.