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Coastal Pollution

Volume 984: debated on Monday 12 May 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to announce his decision as to who bears the cost of dealing with coastal pollution from major oil spills in the period between operational cleaning-up and recovery from the polluter; and if he will consider establishing a fund shared by all local authorities, in view of the financial strains to which coastal areas are exposed by settlement delays.

There are no plans to change the existing arrangements whereby the costs of dealing with coastal pollution from oil spills are borne by those with operational responsibility for cleaning up until they are reclaimed from the polluter.The international fund for compensation for oil pollution damage was recently set up to improve cover available in major spills and I see no need for the establishment of a further fund. But if the local authorities wish to augment the international fund with a fund of their own, shared by all local authorities, this would be a matter for the authorities themselves.