§ 62 Ecotoxicological testing of chemicals
The operator shall see to that chemicals that will be used in or discharged from the petroleum activities on the continental shelf, are tested as regards inherent ecotoxicological properties. Ecotoxicological testing of chemicals shall be performed at laboratories that are approved in accordance with OECD's principles for good laboratory practice.
Chemicals shall be tested for the individual organic substances' biodegradability in accordance with OECD’s guidelines for testing of chemicals, test number 306. If this test cannot be used because the substance is insoluble in water, the marine BODIS test shall be carried out in accordance with ISO 10708:1997, with modifications as described in “Biodegradability of chemical substances in seawater – Results of the four OSPARCOM ring tests.” On application, the Norwegian Environment Agency may accept the use of alternative test methods for substances that are known to be toxic to microorganisms, if the methods are standardised.
Chemicals shall be tested for the individual organic substances' potential for bioaccumulation, in accordance with OECD’s guidelines for testing of chemicals, test number 117 or test number 107. This applies to substances with molecular weight lower than 700 g/mol only. For substances that cannot be tested according to standardised methods, the bioaccumulation potential shall be calculated based on modelling or professional evaluations, which shall be documented and described in HOCNF, cf. sixth subsection.
Chemicals shall be tested for the individual organic or inorganic substances’ acute toxicity with the following tests:
- growth inhibition on Skeletonema costatum or Phaeodactylum tricornutum in compliance with ISO 10253:2006,
- acute lethal toxicity on Acartia tonsa or Tisbe battaglia in compliance with ISO 14669:1999,
- acute toxicity on juvenile of Scophtalmus maximus or juvenile of Cyprinodon variegatus in compliance with Part B in OSPAR’s protocol for testing of chemicals used in the offshore petroleum industry. This does not apply if the substance is inorganic and has a EC50 or LC50 less than or equal to 10 mg/l on the other test organisms,
- toxicity test on Corophium sp. in compliance with OSPAR’s protocol for testing of chemicals used in the offshore petroleum industry, if the substance is a sinker, has a Koc > 1000, has a log (Pow) >4, on in any other way are known to adsorb to particles or end up in the sediments, or contain surfactants.
Toxicity tests performed on freshwater organisms may be accepted if results from marine tests are not available and if performed by standardized methods.
OSPAR Harmonised Offshore Chemical Notification Format (HOCNF) shall be available for all chemicals used or discharged. Results from the ecotoxicological tests shall be included in HOCNF part 2.
The requirements on ecotoxicological testing and documentation does not apply for:
- lubricants which are not discharged to sea, including those delivered in spray cans,
- chemicals in closed systems which are not discharged to sea, and with usage of less than 3000 kg per year,
- laboratory chemicals,
- dispersants and shoreline cleaning agents that are used to combat acute pollution,
- new chemicals to be field tested, cf. Section 66,
- paint and other surface coatings, including those delivered in spray cans,
- gas tracers,
- hypochlorite produced on the facility
The requirements for testing and ecotoxicological documentation in HOCNF part 2, does not apply for chemicals in green category, cf. Section 63, the additive packages in chemicals in closed systems that is not discharged to sea with a usage above 3000 kg, impurities, potassium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid and phosphoric acid. The requirements for testing and ecotoxicological documentation in the form of HOCNF Part 2 do not apply to polymers that meet the criteria set out in the OSPAR Guidelines for Completing the Harmonized Offshore Chemical Notification Format (HOCNF) (Reference Number: 2012/05). The Norwegian Environment Agency may require testing and ecotoxicological documentation in the form of HOCNF Part 2 for polymers as mentioned in the second sentence when necessary to assess the properties of the substance.
Section last changed: 01 January 2020
The operator must obtain a permit from the Norwegian Environmental Agency for petroleum activities under Chapter 3 of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only). Application for permit under the Pollution Control Act is subject to Chapter 36 of the Pollution Control Regulations (in Norwegian only), and a fee is fixed for the Environmental Agency’s processing relating to applications for permits pursuant to Chapter 36 of the Pollution Control Regulations (in Norwegian only).
The regulations’ general requirements for the petroleum activities on the continental shelf apply to all operators. The permits under the Pollution Control Act will normally contain conditions that are specific and adapted to each activity. Chapter 36 of the Pollution Control Regulations (in Norwegian only) gives further provisions on the processing of permits under the Pollution Control Act. The Norwegian Environment Agency has described further expectations for the content of applications and expected processing time in the Guidelines for applications regarding offshore petroleum activities, TA-2847-2011. Chapter 39 of the Pollution Control Regulations (in Norwegian only) gives provisions for fees for work with permits.
Re first subsection
A chemical is a generic term for chemical substances and/or substance mixtures.
The term “substance” implies, as referred to in OSPAR Guidelines for Completing the HOCNF, as the chemical element and its chemical compound in the natural state or obtained by any production process, including any additive necessary to preserve the stability of the product, and any impurity deriving from the process used. Solvents, which may be separated without affecting the stability of the substance or changing its composition, are excluded. Substances were previously called component.
All chemicals used in the petroleum sector, are also subject to the Product Control Act (in Norwegian only) with regulations, including REACH Regulations, CLP Regulations, Products Regulations and Biocidal Products Regulations.
OECD’s principles for good laboratory practice as mentioned in first section, imply the principles described in OECD Series on Principles of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and Compliance Monitoring (ISSN: 2077-785X). Norwegian Accreditation (NA) is the Norwegian agency for the accreditation of technical matters, including GLP as mentioned in the first subsection.
Re second subsection
“OECD guidelines for testing of chemicals” refers to The OECD Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals.
Test no. 306 (Biodegradability in Seawater) is found in OECD Guidelines for Testing of Chemicals, section 3 (1981, ISSN: 2074-577x (online)). The guideline describes two potential tests – “shaker flask test” and “closed bottle test”. Only one test is required.
“Substances that are known to be toxic to microorganisms” denotes in particular biocides. For such substances, recommendations in Annex II of OECD 1992 302 should be followed.
If biodegradation data from fresh water tests are used, a safety factor of 0.7 should be applied, for recalculation of biodegradation.
Re third subsection
“OECD guidelines for testing of chemicals” refers to The OECD Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals.
Test no 117 (Partition Coefficient (n-octanol/water), HPLC Method) and 107 (Partition Coefficient (n-octanol/water): Shake Flask Method).
The potential for bioaccumulation is given as the partition coefficient octanol/water, Log Pow.
OECD test no. 107 is a suitable method for substances that are water soluble and which do not dissolve or dissociate, but are not suitable for lipophilic organic substances, complex substances organo metals or surface active agents. The method can be used to determine LogPow-values from -2 to 4.
OECD test no. 117 is suitable for complex substances, but not suitable for strong acids and bases, metal complexes, substances reacting with the eluent or surface active substances. The method can be used to find log Pow-values from 0 to 6. If the results from OECD test no. 117 demonstrate several values, all peaks with an area above 5 % in the chromatogram shall be stated. The highest value of these is defined as the substance’s Log Pow.
“Substances that cannot be tested according to standardized methods”, denotes in particular surface active substances.
If log Pow is greater than or equal to 3, it is assumed that the substance bioaccumulates, unless experimentally determined bioaccumulation data (BCF) indicate the opposite.
Professional evaluation of bioaccumulation potential and estimated values for log Pow should be stated in the HOCNF comment field.
Re fourth subsection
With ISO 10253:2006 implies ISO 10253:2006: Marine algal growth inhibition test with Skeletonema costatum and Phaeodactylum tricornutum.
With "ISO 14669:1999" implies ISO 14669:1999: Determination of acute lethal toxicity to marine copepods (Copepoda, Crustacea).
“OSPAR’s protocol for testing of chemicals used in the offshore oil industry” refers to "OSPAR Protocols on Methods for the Testing of Chemicals Used in the Offshore Oil Industry (reference number: 2005-11 (a revised version of agreement 1995-07))". Testing of acute toxicity on fish is described in "Part B: Protocol for a Fish Acute-Toxicity Test", while testing of toxicity on Corophium sp is described in "Part A: A Sediment Bioassay using the Amphipod Corophium sp".
Corophium sp. is a benthic amphipod, and is therefore an appropriate model organism to study toxicity of substances that could be expected to end up in sediments.
Re fifth subsection
“Harmonised Offshore Chemical Notification Format", refers to annex 1 in OSPAR Recommendation 2010/3 on a Harmonised Offshore Chemical Notification Format (HOCNF). With "part 2" implies Part 2: Ecotoxicological information.
To fill out the HOCNF, see OSPAR Guidelines for Completing the Harmonised Offshore Chemical Notification Format (HOCNF) (Reference number: 2010-05) and Supplementary guidance for the completing of harmonised offshore notification format (HOCNF) for the Norwegian sector. Submitting the HOCNF to the Norwegian Environment Agency is not required, however, it has to be available on request.
Re sixth subsection
By lubricants is meant grease, sealing oils, gear oils and engine oils.
The requirements for ecotoxicological testing and documentation in this section apply to chemicals used in the petroleum industry (see Section 6 litera g of the Framework Regulations); including those associated with exploration, normal operation and maintenance during the extraction and processing of oil, gas and, condensate, shut-down of installations and plugging of wells, including emergency preparedness chemicals.
Chemicals used in auxiliary system, pipe lines and water-injection, including chemicals that remain in the well and chemicals that will follow the hydrocarbon stream even though they are not intended for discharge on the field, are covered by requirements for ecotoxicological testing and documentation.
It is emphasized that chemicals used for cleaning plants for the production of fresh water, including drinking water, are subject to testing and documentation requirements. Requirements for water treatment chemicals in drinking water are given in the Drinking Water Regulations (in Norwegian only).
Chemicals used exclusively in the household and in the living quarter of the facility, are not covered by the requirements for testing and documentation.
In the context of testing of bioaccumulation and biodegradability of dope, the grease part is considered to be a substance. All components of grease must be expressed in HOCNF.
Chemicals in fire water systems have since 1st of January 2013 been covered by requirements for ecotoxicological testing and documentation.
Accidental emissions of chemicals occur in closed systems. If the system volume is large, it will mean there is potential for large emissions. Testing and ecotoxicological documentation shall ensure that there is available information about chemicals in such systems in case of accidental emissions. Consumption, as mentioned in litera b, denotes the first filling of the system, replacement and all other use of the chemical. Chemicals in closed systems with no discharge to the external environment, may for example be BOP-liquid or hydraulic liquid. Closed systems shall not have discharges to the sea.
For testing and documentation of dispersants and shoreline cleaning agents, the requirements in Chapter 19 of the Regulations relating to pollution control (in Norwegian only) .
Re seventh subsection
Additive packages in chemicals in closed systems with a usage above 3000 kg per year that are not discharged to the sea, and additive packages in sealing oils for seawater pumps that are discharged to the sea, can be named additive packages as a single substance in the HOCNF, even if consisting of several substances.
Impurities from the production process as mentioned above, which comprises more than 1 percent of the substance mixture, are considered as substances to be mentioned in the HOCNF, but are not subject to testing requirements.
The exact names of the strong acids and bases, which are exempt from the requirement for ecotoxicological testing with the corresponding CAS number, are given in the table below.
Polymers exempt from testing and ecotoxicological documentation requirements in the form of HOCNF Part Two, are considered non-degradable, but not toxic or accumulable. The operator may choose to provide data if it considers this relevant to the environmental assessments.