Many ecological problems that arise in the crude oil industry were already discussed in chapter one of this book. Thus,the objective of this chapter is to show that in order to develop an appropriate technology for crude oil treatment, not only are economically rational decisions required, but also ecologicallyacceptable
decisions are needed. Nowadays it has been very important to change the worldview on environmental issues, such that everyone understands that our environment is a very sensitivesystem that must be protected. The first steps that need to be taken in the direction of environmental development of the crude oil industry were already done more than thirty years ago. InJanuary 1, 1970 in the USA, a new ecological law called the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was accepted. The main objectives of this law are to ensure that the necessity to estimate all thepossible influences of any industrial activity on the environment is carried out, and to decrease the negative influence of the industry on the biosphere. The highlights of this law are givenas follows.
An analysis of the influence of the industrial activity on the environment must be done before starting the activity. Also, the analysis must be done not only by specialists fromthe industry, but also by independent specialists from the area where this industrial activity is to be carried out. This new ecological system based on NEPA, called Environmental Assessment orEnvironmental Impact Assessment, was started in the USA. The next country that started using an ecological law in order to change industrial policy was Canada. Then, many European countriesstarted their ecological policies because of the clear necessity for environmental protection. Now almost all the countries around the world use environmental laws in their industrial policies.