Emergency Planning & Procedures
National Contingency Plan
The purpose of this plan is to ensure that there is a timely, measured and effective response to incidents. The owners and masters of ships and the operators of offshore installations bear the primary responsibility for ensuring that they do not pollute the sea.
Harbour authorities are likewise responsible for ensuring that their ports operate in a manner that avoids marine pollution, and for responding to incidents within their limits. However, ships, offshore installations and harbour authorities may face problems that exceed the response capabilities that they can reasonably maintain (especially in the provision of counter pollution equipment).
Similarly, coastal local authorities may face incidents that require equipment or expertise beyond their capabilities. Therefore, the MCA may need to use national assets in the response to a marine pollution incident.
This plan sets out the circumstances in which MCA deploys the UK’s national assets to respond to a marine pollution incident to protect the overriding public interest. It also describes how MCA manages these resources.
Oil Spill Contingency Plan - Garston
The Oil Spill Contingency Plan has been developed to conform to the Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation Convention) Regulations 1998, which entered into effect 15 May 1998. The plan is designed to meet the statutory responsibilities placed on the Harbour Authority for responding to oil pollution within the harbour area.
The plan is provided to assist the Harbour Authority and other organisations in dealing with an accidental discharge of oil. Its primary purpose is to set in motion the necessary actions to stop or minimise the discharge and to mitigate its effects. Effective planning ensures that the necessary actions are taken in a structured, logical and timely manner.
The plan uses a tiered response to oil response incidents. The plan is designed to deal with Tier One and Tier Two incidents, and to provide guidance for the initial response to a Tier Three incident. Where a spillage is associated with a wider emergency, then additional factors involving the safety of personnel will take precedence over the pollution response. In this case reference will be made to Solfire.
A copy of this plan can be downloaded here. Please note that Section 14 (Contact Details) of this document has been omitted.