The tenth meeting of the IMO MEPC OPRC-HNS Technical Group (TG10) concluded on Friday 19th March, 2010. Work on the Publication checklist for new IMO manuals, guidance documents and training materials was completed ready for submission to MEPC 60. After final editing the Manual on Incident Command Systems (ICS) is planned for submission at MEPC 61. The Group progressed work on a broad range of other oil and HNS projects.
Technical discussions were leavened by a number of special presentations. One by the delegation of the United States on the Exxon Valdez incident, included the video produced by NOAA, and reviewed the response efforts by those who were directly involved. The observer from IMarEST gave an illustrated talk on the MV Newcastle incident, involving ferrous sulphate, a dry bulk cargo, which had fluidised and shifted whilst in transit, resulting in the production and leaching of sulphuric acid liquor within the vessel compartment. The representative from Norway described the Full City incident, an oil spill that occurred off the coast of Norway in July 2009, involving the loss of 1113 m3 of oil. The delegation of Sweden shared its experience in responding to the Linda incident, which involved the loss of four freight containers, three containing HNS, and the delegation of Australia gave an overview of the Montara incident which resulted in the loss of some 6.6 million litres of oil over a period of 108 days, until the well was finally capped.
ISCO presented a paper on the independent training and accreditation of private oil and HNS response contractors to the requirements of shoreline cleaning and it was noted that, in association with ISCO, a working group has been established by ISAA. It was agreed that ISCO will submit a further technical paper to TG 11. Going forwards, ISCO agreed to continue, alongside other delegations, with efforts to collate experience and lessons learned in response to marine HNS incidents and in dealing with sub-sea oil recovery.