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Shipping: Oil

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 10 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will take steps to ban ship-to-ship oil transfer in the Firth of Forth; what recent assessment the Government has made of the risks to the environment of spillage from such transfers; what contingency plans are in place for such circumstances in the area; and if she will make a statement. (156265)

The Department has no plans to introduce legislation banning ship-to-ship oil transfer in the Firth of Forth.

The Department has not made any recent assessment of the risks to the environment of spillage from ship-to-ship transfers. However, when a ship-to-ship transfer is being considered, we expect the responsible authority to carry out an assessment which takes account of the risks involved.

The following relevant contingency plans are in place for the Firth of Forth:

Oil Spill Preparedness, Response and Co-operation Convention Oil Spill Contingency Plan for Ship-to-Ship Transfer (approved August 2006)

Clearwater Forth Plan (approved August 2006).