Saturday, February 13, 2016

Highland Council response to ship to ship oil transfer consultation –“feeble and fence sitting”?

Gurn think tank members have had time to digest the Highland Council’s input to the Cromarty Firth Port Authority’s application for ship to ship oil transfers to be allowed at the mouth of the Cromarty Firth. Their verdict:

“Feeble and fence-sitting. The letter is equivocal: it does not indicate either support or opposition. It just raises what are minor consequential operational points about contingency arrangements such as the need to comply with ballast dumping rules, tug availability, and the possibility that Council staff might be called out if there were a spillage. All of which misses the main point (are the transfers acceptable or not?), or - worse - assumes that the decision will be to consent and all the Council is worried about is how far they might be called on to clean up any mess. It leaves the door open for the Port Authority simply to say, "yes we'll give assurances about no ballast-dumping, and we'll promise to have tugs on standby.”

The matter will be discussed further at Highland Council’s PDI committee on Wednesday 17th. Item 15 on the agenda here. By clicking on item 15 of that page you can download a copy of notes for the meeting which include’s the Highland Council’s letter. The Council may forward further comments to the application consultation which closed on the 8th of this month. 

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