Spill Notification Point
Tel: +685-22 222 (24hr)
Competent National Authority
Ministry of Transport
P.O. Box 1607 Apia
Tel: +685-23 700/4 or +685-23 744
Fax: +685-21 990
The lead agency for marine pollution response is the Ministry of Transport. The Marine and Shipping Division (of the MOT) and the Harbourmaster have operational responsibility in the event of an incident. Other key authorities with an interest are the Department of Lands and Environment, the Department of Fisheries, the Public Works Department and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Police Department would provide communication facilities. In the event of a major spill, assistance would also be available from the US Coastguard in American Samoa
Guidelines for a National Oil Spill Contingency Plan were drafted in 1992. These identify the Ministry of Transport as the lead agency and recommend the Harbourmaster as On Scene Coordinator. The Department of Lands and Environment would be expected to identify resources at risk and develop a policy for the safe storage and disposal of collected oily waste
Together the representatives of the various organisations involved form a Response Team for the purpose of developing and implementing oil spill contingency arrangements. In the event of a major incident the emergency provisions under the National Disaster Committee could be invoked
Samoa 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.
The use of chemical dispersants and mechanical means of oil spill cleanup would be considered, as appropriate. However, no cleanup method would be approved which causes more harm than good in the context of environmental protection. Small quantities of collected oily waste material could be disposed of at municipal waste dumps.
Government & Private
Little spill response resources exist. The Public Works Department can provide vehicles, machinery and manpower. The oil companies have very limited stocks of specialised equipment. Plans exist for upgrading this stock. Aerial surveillance and also aerial application of dispersants could be undertaken by a local commercial helicopter operator.
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
The last significant oil pollution incident in Western Samoa occurred in 1989 when a road tanker carrying diesel fuel dropped into Apia Harbour.
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 2004