D3: New science for oil spill assessment

Destruction of the Taylor Energy platform by Hurricane Ivan initiated a long-term oil spill about 10 miles off the coast of Louisiana, Gulf of Mexico (Mississippi Canyon 20). Assessment of the rate and impact of the spill was hampered by existing technological capabilities and by legal liability issues with the responsible partner. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) teamed with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to tackle assessment with innovative technology and multidisciplinary science. Resulting findings led the U.S. Coast Guard to alter their approach to the response and take independent (successful) measures to contain the flow of oil. Panelists will consider how these results should inform response to long-term oil spills and similar threats to trust resources.



  • Ian MacDonald, Professor of Oceanography, Florida State University
  • David Fish, Chief, Environmental Compliance Division, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
  • Andrew Mason, Physical Scientist, Unit Diving Supervisor, National Ocean Service (NOS)
  • Lisa DiPinto, Senior Scientist, Office of Response and Restoration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Dana Tulis, Director, Emergency Management (CG 5RI), United States Coast Guard