In the Netherlands, the use of detergents in oil spill response had been banned since the 1970s. The main reasons for this change in policy are that in recent years new dispersant products have become available which are less environmentally harmful (high biodegradability, low toxicity) and more effective (less product necessary and applicable to a broader range of oil types and circumstances). In addition, there is a desire to harmonize international policy for oil spill response in the North Sea region, where most countries apply dispersants as a secondary option. In the Netherlands the plan is to use detergents only in those cases where mechanical response is not enough for preventing the oil slick from moving into an ecologically or economically sensitive area. In order to effectively permit the application of dispersants, defining conditions and a decision tree are required. This workshop was organized to discus what is needed in a decision tree that can be used in a practical application framework.
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