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Spill Notification Point
Competent National Authority
Overall responsibility for national emergencies rests with the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), in the Office of the Prime Minister. The first responders are the Saint Lucia Marine Police Unit (marine) and the Saint Lucia Fire Service (terrestrial). When there is a threat of pollution to St Lucia, the Oil Pollution Action Committee (OPAC) is activated. This is chaired by the Saint Lucia Air and Seaports Authority (SLASPA) and includes representatives from the police force, fire service, various government departments and agencies, and oil companies.
The fifth version of the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan was prepared in 2002 and approved by Cabinet in 2007. It is part of the Saint Lucia National Emergency Management Plan (http://www.nemo.gov.lc/home/DisasterManagement/NationalEmergencyManagementPlan/NationalPlans.aspx) and was designed jointly by the Director of Maritime Affairs of SLASPA and the Emergency Planning and Mitigation Advisor of NEMO. It is congruent with the Caribbean Island Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation Plan prepared by IMO/REMPEITC-Carib. It is understood that the NCP was being updated in 2013 (Information from RAC-REMPEITC).
Oil companies must have their own contingency plans in place and have the resources to respond to spills arising at their facilities.
Spills resulting from minor incidents (Tier 1 response) would be handled by local resources. In the event of major spills (Tier 2 and 3), local resources would be focused on near-shore protection or beach operations. Regional and international assistance would be required for handling offshore activities depending on the characteristics and magnitude of the spill.
For Tier 2 and 3 responses the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) would be activated as necessary by NEMO and OPAC. The EOC would provide the command and control facility and policy guidance for the entire oil spill operation.
Waste would be dealt with by the St Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority.
Regional and international assistance may be required for extensive clean-up activities and for the disposal of large quantities of oil contaminated waste.
Containment/recovery and manual shoreline cleanup are the preferred options. In general terms OPAC could approve the use of dispersants in Saint Lucian waters in accordance with the criteria agreed in the Caribbean Regional Plan unless there were special over-riding considerations at the time. Only licensed and approved dispersants are permitted. For burning, permission would be required from OPAC/NEMO/Fire service.
Government & Private
Shell Antilles and Guianas and Buckeye Oil Limited have stocks of oil spill combating equipment at their facilities, including boom, skimmers, storage tanks, sorbents. These would be made available to the government for spills from other sources.
Previous Spill Experience
The FLINDERS (1995) spilt 5-15 tonnes of crude oil while loading. Equipment and personnel were brought in from the USA. Nevertheless, the oil contaminated several nearby beaches. These were cleaned manually.
HAZARDOUS & NOXIOUS SUBSTANCES (HNS)
It is understood that HNS contingency arrangements are being developed as an extension of the NCP. The fire service have some equipment available for HNS response, including protective clothing. Containership ANGEL N (2010) sank off the coast of St Lucia, with the loss of oil and containers, several containing HNS (batteries, nitrous oxide, acetic acid, various compressed gases, phosphoric acid, paints, corrosives, toluene diisocyanate, dichloromethane). The oil and containers drifted northwards towards Martinique but it is understood that they did not threaten any coast. A salvage company was hired to remove the hydrocarbons and other hazardous materials remaining onboard the vessel.
Prevention & Safety
|OPRC '90||OPRC HNS|
* not yet in force
Regional and bilateral agreements
Cartagena Convention - the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment in the Wider Caribbean Region (a comprehensive, umbrella agreement for the protection and development of the marine environment with states of the Wider Caribbean Region).
Date of issue: September 2015
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