This paper will examine the response measures utilized during the multiple oil spills of December 2013 in Trinidad including the activation of the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP) to co-ordinate the responses. In addition, it will explore how successful these response measures were, the adjustments that were made, the challenges with public relations and other factors that negatively impacted the response. Also a discussion of what technological features would have improved the actual responses to the multiple oil spills with particular reference to the La Brea Oil Spill. Managing the response to this La Brea spill necessitated the use of the Incident Command System (ICS) as required under the NOSCP as well as the activation of the NOSCP to the Tier 3 level. A variety of response equipment and resources such as booms, dispersants, degreasers and shoreline cleaners as well as vessel and aerial surveillance were utilized. The decision to utilize Corexit 9500A in the response elicited national anathema. In addition, the fact that mangroves were impacted by oil and they were purposely not cleaned received condemnation. There was major dissatisfaction with the mechanisms employed to conduct beach cleaning which prolonged the clean-up. The spill caused disgruntlement amongst the affected residents. The public relations aspect of the response was viewed as lacking timely, coordinated and relevant information in this social media age. There were many lessons learned as a result of the La Brea oil spill. Some of the main lessons were the need for synchronization of the objectives of the various Incident Command Teams; the importance of having a high-technology Emergency Operations Centre; the need for pre-spill trajectory models prior to the incident; the need for early warning systems to detect oil spills when they occur and the need for a Joint Information Centre to manage the media issues. The spill also highlighted the value of the ICS and the use of the ICS forms and the need for synchronized display of such forms over multiple platforms. The La Brea Oil Spill of December 2013 in Trinidad is an example of the challenge of responding to an oil spill incident in the Caribbean region while also considering the unpredictability of the behavior of an oil spill when subjected to environmental conditions. This oil spill, some 7554 barrels of Bunker C type oil, travelled tens of kilometers from its point of origin dominated solely by the prevailing current during the time of the spill. The spill negatively impacted the coastline of La Brea and environs, affecting shorelines, beaches, mangroves and other environmentally sensitive areas, as well as residents and stakeholders.

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