Information and Technology Report 1999-0001



Each year, an average of 14 million gallons of oil from more than 10,000 accidental spills flow into fresh and saltwater environments in and around the United States. Most accidental oil spills occur when oil is transported by tankers or barges, but oil is also spilled during highway, rail, and pipeline transport, and by nontransportation-related facilities, such as refinery, bulk storage, and marine and land facilities (Fig. 42.1). Accidental releases, however, account for only a small percentage of all oil entering the environment; in heavily used urban estuaries, the total petroleum hydrocarbon contributions due to transportation activities may be 10 percent or less. Most oil is introduced to the environment by intentional discharges from normal transport and refining operations, industrial and municipal discharges, used lubricant and other waste oil disposal, urban runoff, river runoff, atmospheric deposition, and natural seeps. Oil-laden wastewater is often released into settling ponds and wetlands (Fig. 42.2). Discharges of oil field brines are a major source of the petroleum crude oil that enters estuaries in Texas.

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Title Oil
Series title Information and Technology Report
Series number 1999-0001
Year Published 1999
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) National Wildlife Health Center
Description 7 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Larger Work Title Field manual of wildlife diseases: General field procedures and diseases of birds
First page 309
Last page 315
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