Acute pollution is defined in Section 38 of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only) as “pollution of importance, which happens suddenly, and which is not allowed according to provision in or pursuant to this Act”. This means that an accidental discharge can be considered acute pollution even if limit values in a permit granted pursuant to Section 11 of the Pollution Control Act (in Norwegian only), have not been exceeded. An example of this is an abnormal discharge situation with high concentrations of oil in water over a short period of time, even if this does not lead to overruns in relation to the permit in the form of a monthly average. Similarly, pollution can be deemed acute and the harmful effects on the environment can be serious, even if the pollution develops gradually and over a longer period of time, for example in connection with leaks from tanks, pipelines, etc. In each individual case, the operator shall determine whether the discharge entails a need for notification or reporting.
Source: Guidelines Regarding the Management Regulations, Norway, updated December 2012. Regulatory Guidance
Acute pollution means pollution of significance which occurs suddenly and should take into account worst case discharge scenario from the facility. Typical examples are larger oil spill due to pipe rupture or a blow out from a well.
Source: Guidance Notes on Petroleum and Natural Gas (Safety in Offshore Operations) Rules, 2008, Oil Industry Safety Directorate (India), 2012. Regulatory Guidance