LETTER FROM THE SECRETARY TO ALL THE MEMBERS OF ISCO (2008-1)

Dear Member,

 

I hope you are continuing to find the ISCO Newsletter useful and informative. I’m grateful to all of you that have sent in contributions and will continue to publish them whenever I can.

 

You will have read in the Newsletter that ISCO now has Consultative Status at IMO and on 11th February Members of your Executive Committee met with IMO in London. It was an extremely positive meeting during which IMO welcomed the contribution that ISCO will make to MEPC, the OPRC-HNS Technical Group and the Integrated Technical Co-operation Programme. You can find summary reports in the Members’ Area of the ISCO website at ISCO>Meetings. ISCO will be participating in the forthcoming meetings of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee and the OPRC-HNS Technical Group. More on this later …

 

The decision taken at the 2008 AGM to mount a rescue operation for the International Spill Accreditation Association (ISAA) has now been implemented with the transfer of management responsibility formalised on 11th February. Prior to this, on January 20th, your Secretary met with the Ireland Accreditation Steering Group in Dublin and, following on this meeting, the Group confirmed its support of ISCO taking over responsibility for managing the International Spill (Ireland) Accreditation Scheme. With regret, the resignation of ISAA Director, John Dawes, has been accepted – As he is now a full time manager for Briggs Environmental Services Ltd., conflict of interest prohibited his continuing as a member of the ISAA board. However, I’m pleased to advise that Dr Douglas Cormack will continue as the Chairman of ISAA and has now been granted Honorary Membership of ISCO. Douglas is highly respected in the spill control community and has a wealth of experience. We all look forward to the valuable contribution he will undoubtedly make to ISCO.

 

ISCO is pleased to announce the recent appointment of three new Members of ISCO Council – Dr Merv Fingas (CANADA), Mr Kevin Miller (UK) and Mr Paul Pisani (MALTA). Please take a few minutes to look at the profiles of Dr Fingas, Kevin Miller and Paul Pisani on the website at ISCO>Members. You will see that all are eminently well qualified individuals and we look forward to working with them.

 

We’re also pleased to welcome three new Members - Individual Member, John Noble, who was, until recently, Deputy Chairman of the Salvage Association and is now running his own company, Noble Marine. Corporate Member, SL Ross Environmental Research – the company responsible for collating and publishing the World Catalog of Oil Spill Response Products. Associate Member, The Scottish Environmental Technology Network – an organisation led by the Contaminated Land Assessment and Remediation Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh.

 

If you haven’t already registered on the ISCO website at  http://www.spillcontrol.org 

 

Please do so now. Until you’ve done this your access to the Members’ Area can’t be switched on.

 

Please take a few minutes to review the ISCO website. I’m looking for ideas on improving the website and for contributions to help populate the Technical/ Reference and other pages. Inputs could, for example, include information about response techniques that would help ISCO Members to build their knowledge and response capacity.

 

I’ve noticed that quite a few of our Corporate Members have not yet taken advantage of the free display advertising facility in the website Supplies & Services section. If you need help to make up your advertisement, our IT support can do the needful for a very modest fee.

 

Finally, please be mindful that the continuation of ISCO’s work depends on revenue from Membership Fees. It really is vitally important for ISCO to recruit new corporate and individual members and you can help by encouraging people in your country to join.

 

With kind regards

John McMurtrie

Secretary

ISCO AWARDED CONSULTATIVE STATUS AT IMO

For the very first time, individual responders, spill response organisations, manufacturers and others responsible for the world’s capacity to respond to oil and chemical spills, will have a voice at the International Maritime Organisation. The recognition of ISCO means that, at long last, the professionals in the front line of spill combat operations will join with other organizations at IMO representing oil, shipping and environmental interests. The inclusion of those who provide the essential infrastructure for spill response fills a longstanding gap and will ensure a much better balance, allowing direct dialogue between IMO and the spill response community. The decision was taken at the end of November when the Assembly of the IMO endorsed the decision of the IMO Council and confirmed this by a letter received from IMO on 14th December, 2007. ISCO representatives are planning to meet with IMO early in the New Year for discussions with IMO on a number of initiatives.

 

EGYPTIAN CONFERENCE

Address given by ISCO Secretary John McMurtrie on 3rd September 2007 at the Conference at Port Said, Egypt, on the occasion of the Egyptian National Oil Spill Response Exercise “Ra Atum VI”.

 

The emphasis on regional and international participation in the programme is very positive. I hope that these events will herald further development of this co-operation. Please be assured that your efforts have the support of ISCO.

 

The theme of this event is “Co-operation in Practice” – a subject that is central to the aims of the International Spill Control Organization.

  

For those of you who are unfamiliar with ISCO, let me give you a very brief potted history. The International Spill Control Organisation was incorporated in London in 1984 as a non-profit-making organisation, dedicated to improving worldwide co-operation and preparedness for response to oil and chemical spills.

   

The founding members of ISCO were the Spill Control Association of America (SCAA), the British Oil Spill Control Association (BOSCA), the Spill Control Association of France (SYCOPOL) and the Swedish Spill Control Association (SWEMARPOL).

 

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), European Community (EC) and other organisations involved with legislation and other measures to improve the world's capability to respond to oil and chemical spills have the benefit of inputs from national governments, petroleum industry organisations and environmental groups.

 

But there is also a vast resource of knowledge and experience amongst oil spill professionals - dedicated men and women in spill control manufacturing, response companies, co-ops, consultancies, universities, research and training. Global implementation of counter pollution measures depend to a high degree on these professionals and their organisations but, without focus, they have no voice. IMO and other relevant world organisations cannot communicate directly with the spill control industry as a whole and cannot easily access the expertise therein. ISCO aims to correct this situation.

 

ISCO was re-launched at the International Oil Spill Conference at Miami in 2005 and at this time the constitution was changed to allow a broader membership. ISCO is now truly international with members in 24 countries.  

 

The organization is run by a Secretariat that is responsible to an elected Executive Committee assisted by the ISCO Council. Members of ISCO Council are the National Representatives of ISCO in their own countries. The Council is a non-executive body that is consulted by, and gives advice to, the Executive Committee. Members of Council provide a focus for ISCO Members in their own countries and a point of contact with their national governments and other national organisations. Currently there are 19 Members of Council, representing 19 countries. I’m happy to say that Member of ISCO Council for Egypt is Engr. Ashraf Sabet.

 

Following on an extended consultation ISCO is currently pursuing several new initiatives.  

 

A new upgraded ISCO website has just been launched. The existing public service of information on conferences, exhibitions, scheduled training courses, etc. is being retained and a new classified section gives members the opportunity to promote their equipment or services with free advertisements which would otherwise cost 500 pounds sterling or more. A whole range of new features is being developed, including a members’ area currently under construction. There will be a focus on promoting co-operation and in helping members to grow response capability.

 

ISCO is planning to organise training and workshops in different countries where there is interest in implementing OPRC and the OPRC-HNS Protocol. Final approval of new IMO Model HNS training courses is expected soon and ISCO is working with other parties to deliver these courses. The accompanying workshops will involve local organisations, both public and private, intended to help attendees to build capacity to meet the new challenges. ISCO Members of Council will soon receive detailed proposals and will be asked to assess national interest in advancing these plans.

 

Through its new web site ISCO will publish technical papers, news of new techniques, equipment and materials, other developments and progress reports, all designed to assist members to meet the challenges arising from OPRC and OPRC-HNS implementation.

 

ISCO will maintain databases and other information sourcing support facilities with links to other organisations for networking and information exchange.

 

ISCO will actively support, involve its members, and contribute to national consultative processes regarding OPRC/OPRC-HNS implementation.  

 

ISCO will keep its members informed on progress being made in different countries and alert members to emerging opportunities to contribute to infrastructure development for OPRC/OPRC-HNS implementation.

 

It’s just over a year since the Lebanon oil spill. As an example of “Co-operation in Practice” you may be interested to know that ISCO made a rapid initial assessment and offered technical support to IMO and REMPEC. Within days of the spill a forecast of potential challenges that could arise was communicated. The need to recover negative buoyancy oil from the seabed was foreseen before the problem arose and ISCO members were ready to provide specialised knowledge and experience. One ISCO member, Marine Pollution Control, accelerated successful proving trials on a new system for recovering sub-sea oil deposits to a surface vessel.

 

Co-operation is all about helping each other and ISCO continues to assist its members in overcoming technical problems – a more recent problem involved the removal of weathered oil deposits from a rocky shoreline in a sensitive location in the Faroe Islands. The solution, which worked very well indeed, was based on another member’s experience in resolving similar problems in the UK and Saudi Arabia.

 

How can you successfully recover oil in currents of up to 3.5 – 4 knots? How can you quickly and easily deploy a diversion or recovery boom from one bank of a fast-flowing river without any need for boats or anchors? How can you guarantee continuous 100% containment of oil in a fast flowing watercourse without impeding the water flow?  How can you automatically detect an oil spill using a fixed detector in a marine situation with a tidal range of up to 5m?

 

ISCO members will be able to find answers to these and many other problems in the technical pages of the new ISCO website. If up against a problem and no immediate solution is at hand, members will have rapid access to the knowledge and experience of the international community of spill control professionals.

 

Another recent ISCO development involves ongoing discussions with the International Spill Accreditation Association (ISAA), an associate member of ISCO. ISAA’s objective is to raise standards of performance within the spill response industry and thus to give customers confidence that they will receive a high standard of professional and cost-effective performance from those contractors who have gone to the trouble and expense of seeking and achieving accreditation.

 

This is not just another quality assurance body but is a scheme that sets capability standards and, through scheme administration and specialist knowledge, helps contractors to attain these standards.

 

ISAA wishes to develop a closer co-operative working relationship with ISCO and this is seen as a route for ISCO to realise its objective of raising industry standards.

 

ISCO strongly supports the formation of regional organisations like OSRAM. On a regional basis, OSRAM complements the other regional organizations – REMPEC and the Mediterranean Oil Industry Group (MOIG).

 

It’s absolutely right that the industry should have a voice and it’s only through a co-operative organisation like OSRAM that the professionals responsible for cleaning up spills can have a real dialogue with regional organisations representing governments and oil industry. In many ways OSRAM’s regional objectives mirror those that ISCO is pursuing on a worldwide basis.  

 

OSRAM’s role in developing regional co-operation is important, especially in larger spill situations where the resources of individual companies may not be adequate. Through co-operation a much larger resource is created and, by working together, it’s possible to raise the profile of the industry and develop everyone’s role in regional counter-pollution provision. Those companies that have joined OSRAM are demonstrating a mature attitude, recognising that there are times to compete with one another and other times when it is better to work together for mutual benefit.

 

Finally, my sincere congratulations on a very successful exercise and thank you for the opportunity to speak.  I hope very much that some of you who share our values will want to join ISCO and I will be happy to answer your questions.   

WARNING: PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION APPLICATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED CORRECTLY

Applicants seeking award of AMISCO, MISCO, or FISCO are reminded that authenticated copies of certificates must be included with the completed Application Form, CV and other documentation. Failure to comply with all of the requirements will result in delay of assessment of candidates seeking Professional Recognition.
When applying for Professional Recognition please take care to carefully follow the instructions on the Application Form.
Professional recognition is a visible mark of quality, competence and commitment, and can give you a significant advantage in today’s competitive environment.
All who have the relevant qualifications and the required level of experience can apply for Professional Membership of ISCO. The organization offers independent validation and integrity. Each grade of membership reflects an individual’s professional training, experience and qualifications.
You can apply for Student Membership, Associate Membership (AMISCO), Membership (MISCO) or Fellowship (FISCO).
For more information please visit http://www.spillcontrol.org select MEMBERSHIP and click on PROFESSIONAL.

ISCO 2013 AGM TO BE HELD IN AUSTRALIA AT SPILLCON CONFERENCE

For the very first time, ISCO will hold its AGM in Australia, during the SpillCon 2013 Conference and Exhibition being held at Cairns, Queensland.
Since 1984, ISCO has held Annual General Meetings in UK (Aberdeen and several times in London), USA (San Antonio, Miami, Savannah, Portland), Malta (Valletta) and France (Marseille).
Detailed arrangements for the 2013 AGM will soon be announced, and the Agenda and other meeting papers will be circulated to Members as soon as possible.

MESSAGE FROM ISCO MEMBER

Dear Esteemed Members of ISCO,

Kaku Professional Engineers Limited, Nigeria in collaboration with Texas A & M University National Spill Control School, Corpus Christi,Texas, USA cordially invites  all the members of ISCO to attend our 2nd Oil Spill Conference holding in Accra, Ghana in June 12-14, 2013 to deliberate interactively and holistically on how to solve myriads of oil spill problems that have led to severe environmental degradation with its concomitant destruction of land,fishing industry ,marine life and threat to safety and health of the people living in the oil producing areas of Nigeria.

We call on international response and control organisations to assist through this conference with ideas and strategies to prevent, clean-up and restore the environment of the affected areas of Nigeria. Apart from  security challenges, we moved this Conference to Ghana to enable us share experiences with our Ghana neighbour that just discovered oil and to reach wider audience.

Please for further information and registration,visit our website http://www.oilspillconferenceng.com

Kind regards,

Engr.Sylvester Egwu

MEMBERS OF THE ISCO INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE RESOURCE INVENTORY WORK GROUP

During the period of website rebuilding your Secretary is refraining from posting new updates on your page because this would complicate data transfer to the new site.
In the meantime, your Secretary can report that on your behalf he has participated in further conference calls with the core group on January 29, February 5 and 11, and a further call is scheduled for February 20. Discussions have been focused on the content and lay-out of information in the RRI. The core group has also been debating on how the system can work as a tool for sourcing available resources in a major event and in helping to ensure that requests for help and offers of assistance are framed in ways  that promote clear understanding between parties. A more comprehensive report will be posted as soon as possible.