BP Spill: Public-Private Partnerships Failed

In the aftermath of the BP oil spill and subsequent response, some emergency management people are questioning the sustainability of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the kind of response they can expect from public-private partnerships in future emergencies.

In an article on the Emergency Management magazine website, Jim McKay says that in the debate over the efficacy of NIMS/ICS and Unified Command in response to Deepwater oil spill, “some say it worked at times and others say it was “compromised from the beginning because of ignorance, indifference and politics.”

David Humphrey, who teaches NIMS at the National Spill Control School at Texas A&M University, and who previously worked for the Texas General Land Office aggregating GIS data for oil spill response, said not everyone brought in to collaborate on the BP response had the necessary background. He described a disconnect that became a “constant battle” between the people brought in to work in the GIS lab, who were familiar and experienced with NIMS, and many of the people working for BP or as BP contractors, who were not.

To read Emergency Management’s article, click here: