Deepwater Horizon oil spill and animal disaster response efforts

Updated March 29, 2011

Courtesy of U.S. Navy

On April 20, 2010, an undersea oil well blowout triggered an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Millions of gallons of oil have contaminated the Gulf of Mexico, causing environmental, animal health and public health concerns.

Veterinarians and wildlife experts, including those with special training in treating oiled wildlife, have been deployed to the area to assist in the response efforts.

The AVMA warns against self-deployment by volunteers. Volunteers interested in assisting with the response should work with organizations within the established chain of command for the response effort, and are encouraged to register for the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians' (AAZV) database of volunteers.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking nominations for experts who can be available to provide consultation to the EPA's Scientific Advisory Board on the Gulf oil spill disaster. The deadline for nominations is June 24. The criteria for selection include:

  • research or operational experience assessing the environmental impacts and associated mitigation of impacts due to oil spills, oil products, oil constituents, and dispersants in air and water (including wetlands) media;"
  • background in areas including chemistry; fate, transport and exposure assessment; toxicology; public health; ecology; ecotoxicology; risk assessment; engineering; and economics.

For more information about the Scientific Advisory Board and the nomination process, view the Federal Register Notice from June 9, 2010.

For continuing updates on the oil spill, follow @AVMAVMAT on Twitter.


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