UT scientists created web application for evaluation of environmental risks from oil pollution
In the framework of the project OILRISK, where scientists of the University of Tartu participate, a tool for making decisions in the running of a pollution control operation on open and coastal sea has been created. The OILRISK web application created by UT scientists helps evaluate potential environmental risks of oil pollution on the Gulf of Finland.
„OILRISK web application has been successfully tested and used on several Estonian pollution control exercises, e.g. the Pärispea Oil 2011 and the Clean Sea 2012 one of the main purposes of which was to train for oil pollution control operations, in order to be ready for them and be able to react in cooperation with various authorities involved,“ says Robert Aps, the Head of Department of Marine Systems of the Estonian Marine Institute of Tartu University. Aps explained that in the exercises the OILRISK web application was used for various tasks which enabled to evaluate the movement of oil pollution in real circumstances and the efficiency of different pollution control scenarios as well as the ecological risk arising as a result. That enables to reduce the potential damage to the environment arising from oil pollution in the Gulf of Finland. The OILRISK web application was also used for the evaluation of situation that arose in 2012 when a 250-meter oil ship Kyeema Spirit went aground near the Island of Aegna.
The OILRISK web application shall be introduced in trainings, pollution control exercises and in actual crises in the administrative areas of the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. „Based on the practical experiences so far, the OILRISK web application has been considered an efficient tool in running pollution control operations and in making important and critical decisions in situations where quick reactions are required,” Aps states.
In addition to the Estonian Marine Institute of Tartu University, the University of Helsinki, Aalto University, the Finnish Environment Institute and the Kotka Maritime Research Centre also participated in the project. The OILRISK project has been carried out with the support from the funds of the European Union Central Baltic Interreg IV A programme and the Environmental Investment Centre. The project “Use of Maritime Environmental Information for Oil Pollution Risk Management” is also one of the activities and output indicators of Measure 6.2 “Reduction of the Load of Ships and Harbours on the Environment” of the Estonian Maritime Policy Implementation Plan 2012-2015.
For more information, please contact Robert Aps, the Head of Department of Marine Systems of the Estonian Marine Institute of Tartu University, phone 5062597, email: robert.aps [ät] ut.ee.