§ 57 Detection and mapping of acute pollution
The operator shall as soon as possible detect acute pollution, cf. the Framework Regulations Section 48 and the Management Regulations Section 29 first subsection litera e.
The operator shall have a system for detecting acute pollution. The system shall be as independent as possible of visibility, light and weather conditions and shall consist of different methods that are generally suitable for detecting relevant types and amounts of acute pollution that may arise from the facilities. The system shall also provide sufficient information about minor leakages that may represent significant pollution over time.
The area around the facility shall be monitored regularly with a view to detection of acute pollution. The need for continuous monitoring shall be considered.
Acute pollution that has been detected, shall be mapped, among other things, with regard to propagation, drifting direction, amount of discharge and properties. Mapping shall be started as soon as possible after the acute pollution has been detected. Thickness distribution of oil flakes on the sea surface shall be mapped.
The operator shall cooperate with operators in other production licenses to ensure that acute pollution is detected and mapped, cf. Section 78 of these regulations.
The detection and mapping after detection system shall provide adequate information on the amount of discharge and dispersion to enable decisions to be made on the implementation of necessary measures to limit potential damage to the external environment, cf. the Framework Regulations Section 48.
The Environment Agency can set more explicit requirements for detection and mapping of acute pollution.
Section last changed: 01 February 2019
The purpose of detection and mapping of acute pollution is to ensure that the information concerning the pollution is sufficient, so that the correct actions are taken in order to stop and limit the pollution, cf. Section 48 of the Framework Regulations, and that acute pollution is notified, reported and reported in writing, cf. Section 29 and Section 34 of the Management Regulations. Acute pollution is defined in Section 38 of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only). Overall, compliance with the various requirements related to detection must ensure that all acute pollution is detected including smaller leaks that can produce effects over time.
The operator shall take measures against acute pollution that has been discovered, cf. Section 48 of the Framework Regulations and Section 46, first subsection of the Pollution Control Act, cf. Section 7, second subsection.
The requirements for detection and acute pollution monitoring include all types of pollution (oil, cuttings, oily water, chemicals, etc.) and all parts of the environment (sea surface, water column, seabed, air). Monitoring of injection activity is also covered by this provision.
This section applies to detection and mapping of pollution due to unwanted incidents and accidents, and failure of barriers to prevent and stop pollution at the source. Requirements for barriers to detect abnormal conditions, etc. and safety functions are in accordance with Section 5 of the Management Regulations, cf. the Facilities Regulations Section 5, first paragraph, letter h and Section 8. These are general requirements for safety under the Petroleum Act, and they also include barriers and systems for preventing and halting acute pollution. Barriers and safety functions such as process monitoring, including pressure, flow and temperature measurements, and detection equipment on facilities below the sea surface will also provide important information for detection and mapping of acute pollution. It is therefore expected that information from the barriers and safety functions will also be included in the detection and mapping system as mentioned in the second subsection of this section.
The operator must assess the types and amounts of pollution that can be detected / mapped using the barriers and safety funtions mentioned above, and which require other methods. Other methods / elements that should be part of the detection and mapping system, are
- detection and mapping equipment located on facilities, seagoing vessels, aircraft and satellites,
- detection and mapping equipment by facilities under the sea surface,
- associated competence for interpreting information from the different sensors,
- visual observation of the sea surface carried out by personnel on facilities, seagoing vessels and aircraft. Observations must be based on expertise for visual quantification of oil and chemicals by means of area measurement and use of colour thickness charts for the relevant oil or chemical type,
- model tools for predicting transport and spreading of acute pollution,
- meteorological services necessary to support detection and mapping.
Continuous monitoring may include all or part of the facilities and areas around. For example, through radar systems on the surface and leak detection systems that cover parts of facilities on the seabed.
The fifth subsection clarifies the obligation to cooperate on emergency preparedness as stipulated in the Framework Regulation Section 21.
Mapping of thickness distribution as mentioned in the sixth subsection, shall be done both to estimate discharges and as a basis for selecting a fighting strategy. For visual observation on the sea surface, oil and oil quantity estimation should be made according to Bonn Agreement Oil Appearance Code (BAOAC).
The requirements for continuous improvement laid down in Section 23 of the Management Regulations also mean that the operator shall contribute to the necessary further development of tools for the detection and mapping of acute pollution.
Section 57 of the Activities Regulations replaces, from 1 January 2019, the requirements for discovering acute pollution that is given in the permits for petroleum activities pursuant to the Pollution Control Act. In the permits where such requirements have been made for the detection of acute pollution, the requirements will continually be taken out in connection with changes being made to these permits.