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Spill Notification Point
Malakal Port Authority
PO Box 8086 Koror Republic of Palau 96940
Tel: 680 488 2496
In addition to local authorities, oil spills should also be reported to USCG MSO Guam.
USCG MSO Guam
PSC 455 PO Box 176 FPO AP 96540-1056 Territory of Guam
Tel: 671-355-4900 or 671-355-4824
Competent National Authority
Environmental Quality Protection Board, details as above.
The Republic of Palau (formerly Belau) is a UN Trust Territory administered by the USA. Oil pollution response is currently being organised under OPA '90. The US Coast Guard Marine Safety Office (USCG MSO) Guam is the lead US federal agency for oil spills in Palau's waters. The designated lead agency for the Republic of Palau is the Environmental Quality Protection Board (EQPB). Other local authorities with an interest are the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) and the Port Authority. Responsibility for combating and cleaning oil spills rests with the polluter, under the joint coordination of a designated Federal on-scene coordinator (FOSC) appointed from the USCG MSO and a national OSC appointed from EQPB. In practice the authorities are likely to call upon local resources in any significant spillage, backed by resources from Guam and the US mainland. The FOSC, OSC and polluter would be advised by the Palau Area Committee, an advisory body comprising a variety of local and federal government agencies and other local and commercial interests.
Palau is a member of the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and party to the SPREP Protocol Concerning Cooperation in Combating Pollution Emergencies in the South Pacific, which provides the legal framework through which marine spill contingency planning is addressed. SPREP has prepared PACPOL, the Pacific Ocean Pollution Prevention Programme, which has drafted the Pacific Islands Regional Marine Spill Contingency Plan (PACPLAN). This was endorsed by Members in September 2000 as the regional framework through which the SPREP Pollution Emergencies Protocol would be operationalised. PACPLAN only applies to spills where regional cooperation and/or supraregional assistance are required. It does not cover Tier One and Tier Two spills. At the national level, PACPOL has provided Palau with assistance in formulating its national plan, consistent with PACPLAN and international best practice.
No formal policy has been determined for open sea response as no equipment is available locally. In sheltered waters, the favoured response is to contain and mechanically recover spilled oil or manually with sorbents. The use of dispersant chemicals is unlikely to be approved by the authorities due to the prevalence of coral reefs and fishing. Any clean-up in sensitive areas (corals, mangroves, and fishing grounds) would require consultation with and the approval of the Palau Area Committee and EQPB.
Only very limited facilities for oily waste disposal exist locally, and large volumes of waste would have to be exported for final treatment and disposal.
The government authorities hold limited amounts of boom, sorbent and other equipment at Malakal Harbor, Koror.
Limited amounts of boom and sorbent are also held locally by the oil industry. Small boats, tugs and cargo aircraft are available commercially.
Previous Spill Experience
Only minor spills from ships and land-based sources, the largest comprising 10 - 15 tonnes of heavy fuel oil.
Prevention & Safety
|OPRC '90||OPRC HNS|
* not yet in force
Regional & Bilateral Agreements
- As a UN Trust Territory administered by the USA, formal arrangements are in place with the USCG, Guam, for spill response.
- Noumea Convention (with states of the South Pacific Region).
Date of issue: November 2011
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