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Marine oil spill preparedness training on the East Coast

18 September 2012

Training for a potential marine oil spill off the Tasmanian coastline is moving in a new and exciting direction, with a focus on delivering locality specific training in remote but vulnerable locations.

To that end, a group of EPA Division staff, together with Parks and Wildlife Officers, Tasmania Police, the SES, Glamorgan Spring Bay Council and the Coast guard joined forces at Swansea recently to discuss what to do should an oil spill occur in their region.

Moulting Lagoon on the East Coast is a RAMSAR wetland site, and one of a number of recently identified very high priority natural value areas for Tasmania. Funded by the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council, the hands on training session with presenter Chris Priestly discussed the theory behind oil spill preparedness and then examined the range of first strike capabilities the region can offer.

EPA Division Marine Pollution Officer Letitia Lamb said the aim of the workshop was to build on skills within the local Council and community groups to enable people to contribute to a successful Oil Spill Response.

“In late August, the EPA worked collaboratively with a range of organisations to exercise a first strike plan for Moulting Lagoon as part of preparedness training for the community,” Letitia said.

“This involved setting up oil spill response equipment such as shoreline and expanding boom, including an anchoring system stretching from shore to shore closing off the Moulting Lagoon entrance, as well as designing a decontamination station to successfully manage secondary oiling issues."

“The plan was successful and we now have a feasible option for protection in the area. The next step is to pre-position oil spill response equipment in appropriate locations.”

The EPA Division offers training on marine oil spill preparedness to a range of organisations across the state.

Find more information about marine oil and chemical spills on the: EPA website