Statement of Task

An ad hoc committee will analyze whether the properties of diluted bitumen differ sufficiently from those of other crude oils commonly transported in U.S. transmission pipelines to warrant modifications of the regulations governing spill response plans, spill preparedness, or clean up.

The committee will:

1. Review the available literature and data, including any available data from oil spill responses or clean up, to determine the current state of knowledge of the transport, fate, and effects of diluted bitumen once spilled into the environment (onshore and offshore);

2. Identify the relevant properties and characteristics that influence the transport, fate and effects of commonly transported crude oils, including diluted bitumen, in the environment;

3. Make a comparison of the relevant properties identified in item (2) between diluted bitumen and a representative set of crude oils that are commonly transported via pipeline;

4. Based on the comparison in item 3, analyze and make a determination as to whether the differences between the environmental properties of diluted bitumen and those of other crude oils warrant modifications to the regulations governing spill response plans, spill preparedness, or clean up.

If the committee finds that there is not sufficient information to make a comparison of the environmental properties between diluted bitumen and other crude oils, the committee may make recommendations as to the additional data that would be needed to make such a determination.