A key objective for any oil spill response is to minimize the impacts to ecological, socio-economic and cultural resources at risk through the development of a safe and effective response strategy. Contingency planners and incident managers have traditionally utilized a net environmental benefit analysis (NEBA) for selecting the most appropriate response option(s) to minimize spill impacts and promote recovery. The processes used to conduct a NEBA have varied considerably between industry operators, though the outcomes in terms of strategy development have been similar. This variation in NEBA approaches can lead to challenges with communicating the underlying basis of response strategies to stakeholders.
Ipieca, API and IOGP collaborated to develop a qualitative NEBA process that was renamed Spill Impact Mitigation Assessment (SIMA). This document explains the use of the SIMA tool which can help the planner and responder select the response option(s) that will best mitigate the overall impacts of an oil spill.