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US Coast Guard discusses oil spill plans

Representatives from the United States Coast Guard are in Bermuda to assess how they could help in the event of a major oil spill.

The visit stems from an agreement signed by both countries in 1976, stating that assistance could be provided by the United States Coast Guard in the event of a major oil spill impacting Bermuda.

Geoffrey Smith, an environmental engineer at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said Bermuda has oil response equipment such as oil boom and oil skimmers to tackle the first 24 hours of a major spill.

He said that Sol Petroleum, Rubis Energy and Belco also carry oil response equipment to attend any oil spills from their sites.

He added: “The Bermuda-United States Coast Guard agreement is therefore considered a potential response option for Government in the event of a major oil spill coming to Bermuda from a third party such as a passing oil tanker.”

Government said this week's meetings aim to re-establish contacts and communication routes for key personnel within Bermuda, understand the types of assistance that can be provided by the US Coast Guard, establish processes to quickly expedite equipment and personnel into Bermuda if needed and demonstrate the island's oil response capabilities and response plan.

Scott Simmons, Department of Marine & Ports Services; Geoffrey Smith, Department of Environment and Natural Resources; Steve Cosham, National Disaster Coordinator, Ministry of National Security (Photograph supplied)

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Published September 19, 2018 at 4:54 pm (Updated September 19, 2018 at 4:54 pm)

US Coast Guard discusses oil spill plans

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