asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will take action to prevent oil tankers not equipped with adequate safety equipment on the lines of the inert gas system from discharging their cargoes at terminals adjacent to built-up areas, namely, Canvey Island and Milford Haven; if necessary whether he will consider taking unilateral action on this matter; and if he will draw up and enforce up-to-date safety regulations for oil tankers and terminals.
, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 24 January 1979; Vol. 961, c. 185], gave the following information:The Health and Safety Executive is currently preparing proposals for new regulations on the handling of dangerous goods in ports, including the relevant equipment, and any lessons learned from the disaster in Bantry Bay will be taken into account by the Executive and the Government Departments concerned.The fitting of inert gas systems is already the subject of international shipping agreements, which the Merchant Shipping Bill now before the House will enable the United Kingdom Government to ratify. The responsibility for this lies with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade.