Emergency Management of "Deep Horizon" Event

Paper Type:  Case study
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1471 Words
Date:  2022-08-10


One of the largest oil-related disaster oil in America is the deepest Horizon oil spill, which took place in 2010. The fire and explosion of the deep-water Horizon oilrig led to the enormous oil spill that endangered considerable distance of coastline. It was estimated that nearly 4.9 million barrel of the oil spill (Birkland & DeYoung, 2011). The spill was an ecological disaster which can lead or can cause, significant long-term not only economical but environmental mutilation. This damage is compounded by the use of chemical dispersants utilized to break up the oil before it reaches the shore, but instead, it caused the oil to scatter in the water. Whereas the magnitude to which the spill would have damaged the environment was unclear, it was perceived the spill was a new tragedy for a Gulf area, which had not fully recovered from the Hurricane Katrina that weakened the economic life of the fishing communities such as Louisiana, Grand Isle. To reduce the vulnerability of the region, the major stakeholders; the United State Coast Guard, the oil company BP, federal agencies, the state and the local governments of the five involved states intervened the situation.

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The nature of the response to the oil spill was criticized as to being slow and with lack of proper approach. White (2012) uses phrases like 'red tape' and 'confusing' to describe the scope adapted to intervene the situation, which he further compare to the incompetent technique when Hurricane Katrina strike. From the organizational and legal viewpoint, oil spill tragedy and natural disasters differ in basic ways. The responses differ concerning agents, keys actors involved, the assumption used, and, a framework of federalism. In a typical response model, the key response team in the local government whose efforts are usually backed up with the federal government. However, in the spoiled oil, without the consolation of the Local, the federal government took the first initiative to disaster management, supervising the cleanup of an oil spill by the spiller or the responsible party, which seldom 'the responsible parties' in natural calamities are identifiable. This step taken by the federal government introduced intergovernmental conflicts and complaints that surrounded the response to the oil spill. According to May and Williams (2012) conflict arose from the concept of 'shared governance' and the dominance federal duty joined with a civil liability regime which is envisioned to dissuade and bring into punishment possible and real parties.

Outline terms related to emergency management utilized within the article

The followings terms have been used in the article that is associated with disaster


It means the process involved in evaluating and interpretations of measurements and other reliable information to form the basis of decision-making

Restoration projects

Activities or projects that aid in the recovery of an ecosystem that has been damaged, degraded or destroyed

Community Service

Work intended to assist people in regions that are vulnerable

Forensically recovered

Retrieved information from the damaged evidence


Victims are associated with crisis-induced mass migration in which they are affected either economically, socially, physically or emotionally


The expected loss it can either entail lives lost, persons injured, damage to property and disruption of economic activity due to a particular hazard.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

A division of government with offering assistance related to the environment

Rehabilitation centers

They are facilities set aside to help animals or people to restore their normal health or life through training or therapy


It is one of the phases in disaster management cycle that help to restore an individual or a region to its usual state

Identify alternative courses of action and why

The massive spill resulted in extensive environmental damage, rendering thousands of miles of coastal land a usable for the original species. Death of tens of thousands marine animals over a region that is popular to about 8300 distinct species, was one of the most significant adverse effect to the environment, which has left the survived species struggling with the oil -contaminated water in the Gulf. White (2014) asserts that three years after the outstanding effects are still superficial. Moreover, elements such as tar were discovered on the Mississippi; further, Barataria bay suffered erosion due to oil spill remains. Furthermore, the effect spread to the health of the local people; this meant that the stakeholders would have to face a massive loss because the magnitude of the disaster required a considerable amount of money to fix the problem and compensate for the destruction.

After the calamity had happened, BP's communication approach honed on the two particular aspects of the occurrence; firstly, the company give a detailed description of how it will rectify the mistake and secondly it explained how it would proceed with the compensation plan. This was followed up with several press conferences in April and May of 2010, giving their progress in ensuring the workers were safe, clean up activities is being begun and plans to clean Gulf. Nonetheless, there was no mentioning of acknowledging mistake for the operation of the machinery or the lack of an effective fail-safe. To make matters worse, BP indulged into blame game rather than accepting ownership and be responsible for their actions of increasing the vulnerability of the Gulf region.

Because of the considerable effects, the calamity had on the economy of the affected region; BP could have alternatively chosen to reverse the economic impact that spill caused by tourism to fishing for the Gulf coast states. It was of less effect for BP to protest the sanctions and blaming local business owners, and they were needed to seize the opportunity to earn the goodwill on advertising and mitigate their negative impact by promoting the domestic tourism. Besides, it could be useful if they could have minimized the negative press revolving around the spill by reducing remorseful advertisements and insincere messages. Above all, the most effective means they could adopt while communicating with the public is through sincere acceptance of the fault.

Summarize the impact of emergency management concerning the article the overall outcome of the situation

The effect of the oil spills has illustrated that adverse disaster effect with the disentanglement of community in the affected zones is being evidenced as the conflict is erupting among the involved, responsible parties. It has been a common tendency, especially in human-made disaster to responsible party to place blame on external entities. However, with the aid of the measures Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health focused extensive resources the responsible party was punished while the local community was aided towards it recovery. Moreover, it resulted to a more rigorous regulation of oil and gas companies in the U.S and other regions, especially about health, environmental and safety protection controls and oversight of drilling operations, also in regards to accessing to new drilling zones. As stated by BP in 2010:

"Significant uncertainties over the extent and timing of costs and liabilities relating to the size and timing of expenses and responsibilities relating to the incident and the changes in the regulatory and operating environment that may result from the event have increased the risks to which the group is exposed. These uncertainties are likely to continue for a significant period. These risks have had and are expected to have a material adverse impact on the group's business, competitive position, cash flows, prospects, liquidity, shareholders returns and or implementations of its strategic agenda. "

Therefore, such acceptance led to the establishment of a strong case for integrating biodiversity and ecosystem amenities metrics into environmental risk management measures and information systems of all companies operating hazardous assets. Furthermore, it aroused the need for a more reliable ecological accountability and reporting practices to order to meet the seriousness incorporate environmental performance.


Birkland, T. A., & DeYoung, S. E. (2011). Emergency response, doctrinal confusion, and federalism in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 41(3), 471-493.

BP p.l.c., 2011.Group results Second quarter and half year 2010.


May, P. J., & Williams, W. (2012). Disaster policy implementation: Managing programs under shared governance. Springer Science & Business Media.

White, H. K., Lyons, S. L., Harrison, S. J., Findley, D. M., Liu, Y., & Kujawinski, E. B. (2014). Long-term persistence of dispersants following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Environmental Science & Technology Letters, 1(7), 295-299.

White, H. K., Hsing, P. Y., Cho, W., Shank, T. M., Cordes, E. E., Quattrini, A. M., ... & Brooks, J. M. (2012). Impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on a deep-water coral community in the Gulf of Mexico. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(50), 20303-20308.

BP p.l.c., 2011.Group results from the Second quarter and half year 2010.


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Emergency Management of "Deep Horizon" Event. (2022, Aug 10). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/emergency-management-of-deep-horizon-event

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