In 2008, the council commissioned a report to better understand how encounter rates affect the recovery rate capabilities of the nearshore and open water oil spill response in Prince William Sound.
This study used an ASTM F1780 standard that considers actual encounter rates as the principal methodology, rather than the EDRC approach which focuses simply on de-rated efficiencies for skimmers. For analysis purposes, recovery rates were calculated for both an instantaneous release and a continuous spill.
In this context, the study evaluated the relative effectiveness of the (then new to the C-plan) Current Buster Task Forces compared to the standard and U/J configurations for the Near Shore response. Additionally, given the tactics described in the 2007 SERVS Technical Manual, this study evaluated the overall capacity to recover oil within 72 hours.
As response technologies change and mature, Council continues to press the encounter rate issue. As part of the Tanker C-plan renewal in late 2012, Council made comments concerning encounter rate and the spread of oil in the open water environment.