EDITOR'S NOTE: This is 1 of 5 papers reporting on the results of a 4-year project to develop an environmental risk-based decision support tool, to assist the oil industry in establishing cost-effective measures for reducing risk to the marine environment from drilling discharges.
This paper briefly summarizes the ERMS project and presents the developed model by showing results from environmental fates and risk calculations of a discharge from offshore drilling operations. The developed model calculates environmental risks for the water column and sediments resulting from exposure to toxic stressors (e.g., chemicals) and nontoxic stressors (e.g., suspended particles, sediment burial). The approach is based on existing risk assessment techniques described in the European Union technical guidance document on risk assessment and species sensitivity distributions. The model calculates an environmental impact factor, which characterizes the overall potential impact on the marine environment in terms of potentially impacted water volume and sediment area. The ERMS project started in 2003 and was finalized in 2007. In total, 28 scientific reports and 9 scientific papers have been delivered from the ERMS project ( http://www.sintef.no/erms).