Spill Notification Point
Ministry of Transport and Communications
P.O. Box 154
Tel: +692-625 5269
Fax: +692-625 3486
Ministry of Resources and Development, Environmental Protection Authority
P.O. Box 1727
Tel: +692-625 3035 or +692-625 5203
Delrita-Uliga-Delap Port Authority
Tel: +692-625 3469 or +692-625 3569 or +692-625 3589
Competent National Authority
Ministry of Transport and Communications, details as above.
The Marshall Islands formal arrangements for oil spill response are not known. However, in the event of a spill, two government offices are likely to take lead roles: The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MTC) and The Ministry of Resources and Development, Environment Protection Authority (EPA). The Delrita-Uliga-Delap Port Authority, which is part of MTC, controls shipping movements to the capital's main port, and would also act as a primary notification point. It should be noted that the Kwajalein atoll is leased from the Marshall Islands government by the US Army as a missile testing range, and is under strict US military control.
The Marshall Islands are 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 the Marshall Islands with assistance in formulating its national plan, consistent with PACPLAN and international best practice.
The response policy is not known. However, the Marshall atolls contain many reefs, mangroves and productive lagoons which are all sensitive to spilt oil. No facilities for oily waste disposal exist locally, and wastes would have to be exported for final treatment and disposal.
Few resources exist on the islands for spill response. The Department of Public Works controls most civil works activities and may be able to provide limited labour and mechanical equipment. Limited stocks of specialised response equipment are available, owned by Mobil Oil Micronesia Inc. There are no specialist oil spill clean-up contractors locally available. Small boats are available commercially for use in spill response, but no commercial aircraft are available locally for aerial surveillance.
In order to assist each Pacific Island country and territory to establish the optimum equipment inventory for its situation, PACPOL is carrying out a review of marine spill combat needs in 2003 with funding from the International Maritime Organization and Canada. Once the review is completed, the project will seek to secure sources of support to procure the necessary equipment, plus provide training in its use and long-term maintenance.
The most significant stockpiles of marine spill response equipment held within the region are: American Samoa (US Coast Guard and oil industry/contractor); Guam (USCG and oil industry/contractor) and New Caledonia (French Navy). Access to this equipment is available via the Request for Assistance procedures under PACPOL.
Previous Spill Experience
Only very minor fuel spills (non-persistent oils) have been previously experienced.
Prevention & Safety
|OPRC '90||OPRC HNS|
* not yet in force
Regional & Bilateral Agreements
- Noumea Convention (with states of the South Pacific Region).
Date of issue: June 2008