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Recent Projects

Oil/Product Spill Analysis Cherry Point Refinery North Dock Environmental Impact Statement (BP/Army Corps Engineers): current
ERC will be involved in an environmental impact study of vessel traffic and potential oil spills related to BP Cherry Point Refinery in Washington State.
Oil Transfer Rule Benefit Analysis (WA Dept. Ecology): 2006
ERC conducted an analysis of the potential benefits of a proposed oil transfer rule with regard to spill prevention and mitigation. (Download PDF)
Analysis of Hydrodynamics and Currents in Washington Waters (WA Dept. Ecology): 2006
ERC conducted an analysis of currents in Puget Sound and Columbia River with regard to potential pre-booming (spill preventative) measures for vessel-to-vessel and facility-to-vessel oil transfers. (Download PDF)
Oil Spill Response, Socioeconomic, and Environmental Cost-Benefit Analysis (WA Dept. Ecology): 2003 – current
ERC assisted Washington Department of Ecology in a cost-benefit analysis of the state's proposed oil spill response preparedness regulations, the development and analysis of survey of spill response contractors and vessel/facility plan-holders to determine the costs of regulatory compliance. ERC teamed with Applied Science Associates, Inc. in the detailed modeling of response, socioeconomic, and environmental damage costs of oil spills for comparison of oil spill response methodologies, and working with a broad range of stakeholders. (Download PDF: Report 1, Download PDF: Report 2, Download PDF: Report 3,)
Analysis of Washington Vessel Spillage and Casualty Rates in Relation to Other States, US (WA Dept. Ecology): 2001
ERC conducted an analysis of the rates of oil spillage and vessel casualties in Washington State compared to the US as whole and to three other key coastal states in order to assess the impact of Washington's oil spill prevention regulations (Download PDF)
Analysis of Washington Vessel/Facility Oil Discharge Scenarios for Contingency Planning Standards (WA Dept. Ecology): 2001
ERC conducted an analysis of potential spills from both vessels and facilities and developed oil spill scenario probability distribution functions to determine the most likely and worst-case discharges for the state's contingency planning rule. (Download PDF)
Study of Tug Escorts in Puget Sound (WA Dept. Ecology): 2004
ERC conducted an analysis of the socioeconomic and environmental benefits of use of tug escorts for oil tankers in Puget Sound, as part of engineering study to evaluate application of tug escort rules to different oil tanker types. (Download PDF: Report 1, Download PDF: Report 2)
Oil Spill Response Vessel Capabilities in State of Washington: Use of Commercial Fishing and Other Vessels to Augment Oil Spill Response Capabilities (WA Dept. Ecology): 2005
ERC performed an analysis of oil spills in Washington waters to determine the types of incidents for which vessel of opportunity skimming systems and other uses of vessels could augment spill response. (Download PDF)
Laser Fluorosensor Heavy Oil Detection Cost-Benefit Analysis (USCG R&D Center): 2005 – 2006
ERC teamed with Applied Science Associates, Inc. ( and Potomac Management Group ( to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of laser fluorosensor technology for improving spill response. ERC developed a database of heavy oil spills that may have provided opportunities for employing fluorosensor technology. (Download PDF: Report 1, Download PDF: Report 2)
Oil Spill Risk Analysis Based on Oil Transport Mode (PHMSA): 2006
ERC conducted a comparative risk analysis of oil spillage from pipelines, tank vessels, and tanker trucks for the states of Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, and Hawaii.
Cost-Benefit Analysis of US EPA Oil Program (US EPA): 2002 – current
ERC is conducting an analysis of US EPA Oil Program examining benefits of spill prevention and increasing spill response effectiveness, as well as an examination of costs and benefits to society and industry from oil spills and prevention regulations. (Download PDF)
Development of Model to Estimate Costs and Damages from Oil Spills (US EPA): 2002 – current
ERC developed a basic model to estimate damages, including response costs, natural resource damage costs, and socioeconomic costs, for oil spills by oil type, spill volume, and location factors for use in evaluating EPA Oil Program activities and regulations. (Download PDF)
Development of Oil Spill Databases for US EPA Oil Program (US EPA): 2002 – current
ERC developed databases for the US EPA Oil Program comprising all oil spills from facilities that fall under EPA regulations and all oil spills into waters for which EPA is primary response agency. ERC is regularly updating and maintaining these databases.
Regulatory Analyses for Economical and Environmental Impact for US Coast Guard (US Coast Guard): 2005
ERC developed a database of vessel-based hazardous materials spills and discharges and analyzed risks of these incidents as part of a regulatory analysis.
Cost-Benefit Analysis of US Coast Guard Oil Spill Research & Development Program (US Coast Guard): 2002
ERC teamed with Potomac Management Group ( to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of improvements in oil spill response technology to determine response cost and socioeconomic and environmental damage reductions by alternative response technologies and improvements in traditional mechanical recovery technologies. (Download PDF)
Development of Oil Spill Response Cost-Effectiveness Analytical Tool (NOAA/UNH Cooperative Institute for Coastal/Estuarine Environmental Technology): 2002 – 2004
ERC received a two-year grant to develop decision-making tools for determining cost-effectiveness of various oil spill cleanup response options in order to better facilitate short- and long-term environmental recovery of oil-impacted areas. ERC developed the Oil Spill Response Cost Effectiveness Analytical Tool (OSRCEAT) for these purposes. (Download PDF)
Oil Spill Risk Assessment and Analysis (US Coast Guard): 2000 – 2001
ERC provided risk analysis services to the US Coast Guard and reviewed a large number of projects for the US Coast Guard Oil Spill Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Program Broad Risk Assessment Project that is aimed at providing information to US Coast Guard for strategic planning for the next decade. (Download PDF)
Oil Spill Response Cost Modeling and Estimation (US Maritime Administration): 2001 – 2002
ERC conducted oil spill response cost modeling for hypothetical oil spill scenarios related to the dismantling of the National Defense Reserve Fleet in the James River, Virginia. Link to Report: [REPORT 14A, REPORT 14B]
Oil Spill Risk Assessment/Response, Socioeconomic/Environmental Damage Cost Analysis (US Army Corps of Engineers): 2001 – 2003
ERC teamed with Applied Science Associates, Inc. ( and Herbert Engineering, Inc. ( to conduct an oil spill and vessel accident risk analysis for the US Army Corps of Engineers project of rock removal in the vicinity of Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay. ERC estimated response and socioeconomic damage costs associated with hypothetical oil spill scenarios as modeled by ASA's SIMAP oil spill trajectory and natural resource damage modeling program. (Download PDF)
Analysis of Oil Spill Risk from Potentially Polluting Shipwrecks (2005 International Oil Spill Conference/American Petroleum Institute): 2004 – 2005
ERC developed an international database of potentially polluting shipwrecks and analyzed risks and impacts of oil spillage from these wrecks, as well as worked on a team to evaluate costs and benefits of salvage. (Download PDF)
Analysis of Methods to Determine and Classify Oil Persistence (US EPA): 2004
ERC conducted an analysis of different methodologies for determining persistence in oil as applied by US Coast Guard, international authorities, non-US governments, and industry for the US Environmental Protection Agency. (Download PDF)
Response Cost Estimation Modeling for US Coast Guard Evaluation of Tanker Designs (National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council): 2000
ERC developed a methodology for use by the US Coast Guard to estimate the cost of mechanical recovery and shoreline cleanup for various oil spill scenarios (different locations, spill sizes, oils). The model will be used in evaluating the cost consequences of oil spills of various sizes from alternative tanker designs. (Download PDF: Report 1, Download PDF: Report 2)
Environmental Impacts of Dry Cargo Discharges into the Great Lakes (US Coast Guard): 2001 – 2002
ERC conducted an analysis of environmental impacts of dry bulk cargo discharges (coal, gravel, grains, iron ore, etc.) from commercial cargo carriers in the Great Lakes to identify and quantify impacts of cargo residue discharges into affected areas of Great Lakes, assess the current program's effectiveness, and make recommendations for regulatory action based on the current program; analysis of dry cargo vessel traffic. (Download PDF: Report 1, Download PDF: Report 2)
Estimation of Oil Input into Marine Environment (International Maritime Organization/United Nations): 1997 – 2003
ERC conducted an analysis of historical oil spill data to estimate oil entering marine environment from tankers and other sources, developed an extrapolation model to estimate smaller spill input, analyzed spillage rates in relation to transport/oil production, conducted a comparative analysis of the past decade to previous estimates on oil input, and conducted regional and international analyses to determine the impacts of various oil spill prevention measures and conventions.
Estimation of Oil Input into North American and International Marine Environment (National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council): 1999 – 2002
ERC developed several databases of oil spills and analyzed oil spillage from all sectors geographically to develop an estimate of spillage rates on a regional basis. The study focused on North American waters, but included a comparison to the situation in the international arena. Dr. Etkin also acted as a liaison between the National Research Council committee and the UN GESAMP committee for international spill issues. Available at
Development of Port State Control- and Port Vessel Security Target Matrix Effectiveness Evaluation Method (US Coast Guard): 2003
ERC participated in a three-person team to develop a statistical methodology for US Coast Guard officials to determine the effectiveness of the Port State Control- and Port Vessel Security Target Matrix in profiling vessels that may be safety and/or security risks. The team also made recommendations on weighting of factors in the Port State Control- and Port Vessel Security Target Matrices.
Development of International Tanker Oil Spill Database (Minerals Management Service): 2001
ERC developed an international database of oil tanker spills and conducted an analysis of international data relevant to tanker oil spills for use of Minerals Management Service in their studies to compare oil transport spill rates.