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NOAA publishes data on US oil spills in 2018

07 May 2019

According to data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there were 137 oil spills across the USA in 2018, about 11 per month. The adjacent map shows both onshore and offshore spills over the year.

Image: World Resources Institute
Image: World Resources Institute

Originally published on World Resources Institute’s Resource Watch platform and cited by Cleantechnica in an article on May 5, the map shows where spills were clustered over the year – mainly on the North-Eastern Seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico.

NOAA estimated the size of 65 spills in 2018, in terms of the maximum potential gallons of petroleum released. Spills ranged in size from 2.1 million gallons to just 30 gallons.

The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) defines a large oil spill as more than 700 tonnes (219,000 gallons) of oil and a medium-sized spill as being between 7 and 700 tonnes (2,200 gallons to 219,000 gallons). Of the 137 oil spills tracked by NOAA, one was large and 25 were medium-sized.

Louisiana had 52 spills on or offshore, Texas had 13 and 10 spills occurred in Alaska. New Jersey and Massachusetts are tied for fourth place with six spills within 200 nautical miles of their shores.

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