Division of Spill Prevention and Response



Tundra Treatment Guidelines is a manual published by the State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC), Division of Spill Prevention and Response, Prevention Preparedness and Response Program. This manual provides standard operating guidelines for responding to spills of oil and other contaminants on Alaska’s North Slope. ADEC has three main objectives for any tundra cleanup: 1) minimizing damage to the tundra from the spilled material; 2) minimizing damage to the tundra from the response actions, and 3) minimizing the time period for tundra to recover. ADEC acknowledges that the ecological damage from the cleanup can be greater than the deleterious effects of the residual contamination. Helping responders strike a balance between these objectives is the primary goal of this manual.

This manual emphasizes strategies that will reduce the toxicity, mobility, and volume of spill residuals in tundra, and that will allow revegetation, control risks to wildlife, aquatic, and human receptors, and protect tundra soils from physical damage and induced thermal effects. This manual provides a menu of tactics for spills of crude oil, diesel fuel, gasoline, saline waters and substances, drilling muds and fluids, and synthetic fluids after initial response efforts have eliminated the threat of large-scale spill migration. Tactics are labeled according to their purpose: P (Planning), CR (Contaminant Recovery), TR (Tundra Rehabilitation), and AM (Assessment and Monitoring). An extensive bibliography of references used to determine the appropriateness and effectiveness of various treatment tactics is included at the end of the manual.

This manual is based on over 35 years of combined industry, university, and government agency experience with tundra spills and field experiments on Alaska’s North Slope. It is a living document that is under constant review and revised as additional information from research and future spill events becomes available. The first edition of the manual was published in 2001. The on-line version of the manual was revised in 2005. The 2010 version of the manual is the third edition.

Please cite this publication as:

Cater, Timothy C. 2010. Tundra treatment guidelines: a manual for treating oil and hazardous substance spills to tundra, 3rd edition. Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Juneau, Alaska.

Updated: 12/20/2010