As previously reported in the ISCO Newsletter, ISCO is continuing to collate information on Marine HNS incident response and Subsea Oil Recovery as part of its contribution to the work of the IMO OPRC-HNS Technical Group. Rather than simply collecting statistical data, ISCO is focusing on the techniques used, problems encountered and lessons learned – information that will be of practical value in developing quality technical manuals.

Now ISCO has developed new report templates that will help to collate the information in a standard format. Incident responders who can contribute to the knowledge base are invited to contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  ISCO also wants to hear from manufacturers, research establishments and consultants who are developing new technologies and equipment with application in HNS incident response or subsea oil recovery.



On behalf of ISCO, Jeff Taylor from Corporate Member, Marine Pollution Control Inc. will be hosting an informal “Meet and Greet” gathering at Clean Pacific at 5 p.m. on Tuesday 15th September at the Oregon Conference Center.

It’s an opportunity for ISCO Members and others who are interested to meet up with each other. Refreshments and a snack will be provided.  We’ll look forward to seeing you.



At the IMO OPRC-HNS TG8 meeting held in London over 29th September to 3rd October, 2008, ISCO joined with other delegations in agreeing to support the Secretariat in collating information on response to HNS incidents in order to address data gaps that exist and to submit information to the future meetings of the Technical Group.

At TG9 in July 2009, ISCO was asked to continue this work as an ongoing project.


Information collected so far includes case histories of responses to incidents involving toxic sludge, MTBE, Naphtha, Sulphuric Acid and Freon (a CFC compound).


It is the international spill response community that has hands-on experience in dealing with HNS incidents – solving the problems and developing techniques that work - experience that will eventually be used in developing response guidance manuals.


ISCO wants to hear from its members and others that can make a contribution to our collective effort. We want to hear not only from contractors but also from manufacturers and researchers who are developing new equipment and technology for HNS incident response. 


ISCO representative at MEPC, Dr Douglas Cormack presented his paper “Independent Training and Accreditation of Private Oil and HNS Spill Response Contractors” to the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee at its 59th Session. The Committee approved this paper for passage to the Technical Group for its next Session. He will now follow through with a graded assessment of Oil and HNS problems and their respective responses, as an Information Paper direct to the OPRC-HNS Technical Group, so that both papers can be discussed on this next occasion.


The 9th meeting of the OPRC-HNS Technical Group (TG9) which ended 10th July was attended by delegations from 23 countries and 10 other organizations. Over the five days of the TG9 meeting delegates addressed a wide agenda of marine oil and HNS pollution related issues and agreed a report that will be submitted to the Marine Pollution Environment Committee (MEPC) this week. TG9 Chairman, Mr Nick Quinn (New Zealand) and Vice-Chairman, Mr Suh Woo Rack (Republic of Korea) were re-elected for the coming year.


ISCO’s efforts in collating information relating to the response to HNS incidents and to sub-sea oil recovery operations were acknowledged in the meeting report and the ISCO delegation has been asked to continue this work.

At this week’s MEPC meeting ISCO will be represented by Dr Douglas Cormack who will present a paper on "The Independent Training and Accreditation of Private Oil and HNS Spill Response Contractors".


Since we last gave you news on new members of ISCO, we are now pleased to introduce and welcome the following new members –


· Captain Thejo Sadhu Prakash of GSS Consultants Pvt. Ltd., Chennai, India.


· SpillGo Ltd., Co Wicklow, Ireland.


· Evolution Sorbent Products, Chicago, USA.


· UK Spill Ltd., the UK’s Spill Response Industry Trade Association.


· Mr Mauricio Padilha of Alpina Briggs Defesa Ambiental S/A


· Seacor Environmental Services Middle East Ltd.


· Mr Marco Formicola of Alpina Ambiental S.A., Brazil.


· Mr Colin Mackay of Envirocol, Glasgow, UK.


· T & T Environmental Technology, Ankara, Turkey.


· Tulip Environmental Services, Istanbul, Turkey.


· Mr Erik Halbert of Boston Strategies International, USA

· Mrs Melinda Pascale of Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences, Finland


ISCO President, David Usher, will represent ISCO at the IMO Council Meeting (29th June – 3rd July, 2009).


David Usher will also attend the OPRC-HNS Technical Group Meeting (TG9) over July 6-10, together with ISCO Secretary, John McMurtrie, ISCO Member of Council for the UK, Kevin Miller and Honorary Member of ISCO, Dr Douglas Cormack. ISCO has submitted an information paper to TG9, reporting on ISCO’s work to collate information on HNS incident response and sub-sea oil recovery experience.

Dr Cormack will be presenting an information paper at the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) Meeting (July 13-17). His paper is on the Independent Training and Accreditation of Private Oil and HNS Spill Response Contractors.


The joint working group established by the International Spill Accreditation Association (ISAA) in collaboration with the International Spill Control Organization (ISCO) has now been working as a correspondence group for nearly six months on the work of developing spill response accreditation criteria for assessing spill response organizations (SROs) involved in response to onshore chemical spills and marine HNS incidents.

The task is not an easy one and it is anticipated that the minimum accreditations standards for different categories of chemical / HNS responders (public and private) will be introduced in stages.


The Working Group includes internationally respected experts from USA, Canada, UK and the Netherlands:


•Dr Merv Fingas, who has more than 25 years of spill response experience with Environment Canada where he was head of the Emergencies Science Division. He was appointed to the United States Academy of Sciences and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Hazardous Materials. Publications include The Handbook of Hazardous Materials Spills Technology and Survey of Chemical Spills Countermeasures.


•Mr Kevin Miller, who, as Managing Director of HazmatLINK works with industry, emergency services and governments, providing advice and consultancy on planning and managing incidents involving hazardous materials. Prior to this he managed the United Kingdom’s National Chemical Emergency Centre (NCEC). In this role he was responsible for ensuring a rapid and professional response to over 1500 incidents per year. He was a member of the Department for Transport working group that developed the code of practice for security of dangerous goods transported by road and rail, assisted in the development of the European Emergency Response Intervention Cards (ERICards), and peer reviewed the CDC/NIOSH’s emergency response safety and health database.


•Dr. Manik Sardessai, Vice President of Technical and Environmental Affairs and Director of Training of Detroit, Michigan, USA based Marine Pollution Control (MPC) Corporation, responsible for developing both in-house and client training programs, including 40, 24, and 8 Hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HazWoper, CFR 1910.120) courses, DOT, Incident Command Systems (ICS), and Chemistry classes. As a Faculty, he has taught both undergraduate and graduate level courses at Wayne State University, U.S.A. and University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Since 2002, he has been a member of Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC) (USCG, USA).


•Dr Wierd Koops is Professor in Maritime, Marine, Environmental and Safety Management at the Maritime Institute Willem Barentsz. He also is an independent consultant and manager of Accidental Spill Control Consultancy vof with specific expertise on accidental or deliberate marine pollution. He has more than 30 years of professional experience in oil and chemical spill response. He is an experienced project manager, with extensive international experience in all the aspects of emergency management: prevention, preparation, response and evaluation. He has broad experience in international projects (Helcom, Bonn Agreement, Barcelona Convention, IMO and EU).


•Mr Nick Bailey joined DV Howells in 2003 as a chemicals expert with many years international incident response experience. He also sees to it that the Chemical / HNS spill response units are maintained with the most appropriate and up to date equipment.

Nick’s track record of managing chemical response scenarios is impressive. Aside from dealing with a wide range of incidents, he is also heavily involved with chemical, biological and hazardous incident response services worldwide.

•Mr Bill Atkinson is Head of Emergency Response at the National Chemical Emergency Centre (NCEC), AEA Technology. He is responsible for a team of experts providing chemical emergency response advice worldwide to emergency services, chemical industry and the transport sector

Development of the new standards will extend the existing ISAA accreditation disciplines that are focused on oil pollution and include freshwater spills, shoreline clean-up, marine spills, groundwater pollution, on-land spills and road/rail tanker incidents


At ISCO’s AGM held at Interspill in Marseille last week Mr Guobin Li of Sunic-Ocean Marine Technical and Service Co. Ltd. was elected as ISCO Member of Council for China (mainland). In representing China on the IMO Council he joins Capt. Davy T.S. Lau who has represented China (Hong Kong) on the ISCO Council since January, 2006.

At the ISCO AGM, the Guest Speaker was Kurt A. Hansen, P.E., of the US Coast Guard Research and Development Center, who gave a presentation on the work of the R&D Center. ISCO President, David Usher, followed with a description of his involvement in a bird rescue and rehabilitation operation following on a recent diesel spill at Troy, Michigan. By invitation from the floor, Rosalie e’Silva of ISCO Associate Member, The Sea Alarm Foundation, gave Members and Guests an impromptu account of the Foundation’s work and its relationship with other wildlife rescue organisations.  Members who would like to have copies of any of these presentations should contact the Secretary of ISCO.

ISCO AGM 2009 UPDATE (4th May, 2009)

The Guest Speaker at the ISCO AGM will be Kurt A. Hansen P.E. from the US Coast Guard R&D Center.


ISCO is honoured to have such a distinguished guest speaker. It is hoped that as many members as possible will attend. Members are requested to advise others that interested non-members are also welcome to come to the meeting.


All Members of ISCO should have received the AGM Meeting Agenda, other Meeting Papers and Form of Proxy. Any Member who has not received these documents should contact the Secretary ASAP.  



Dear Member of ISCO,


Time just seems to fly past and I just realised that it is less than 11 weeks before our next AGM in Marseille at Interspill. For your diary, the AGM will be on Wednesday 13th May at 1500 hrs. in the Salle Ratonneau, which is on the 3rd floor of the Parc Chanot venue. I shall send out the Agenda and other papers as soon as I can.


Since I last wrote to you at the end of 2008 ISCO has welcomed the following new members –


UK Spill Association (the successor to BOSCA)

Mauricio Padilha (Individual Member, Brazil)

Seacor Environmental Services Middle East Ltd. (Abu Dhabi)

Marco Formicola (Individual Member, Brazil)


At the 8th Meeting of the IMO OPRC-HNS Technical Group, ISCO agreed to assist IMO in collating members’ experiences in dealing with sub-sea oil recovery. The information is needed to help in the development of IMO Technical Guidelines on Sunken Oil Assessment and Removal Techniques.

ISCO also agreed to assist in an IMO initiative to gather information about experience gained and lessons learned in regard to response to Marine HNS Incident Response – both actual incidents and near-misses. Rear Admiral Stacey is collating information received from members and, as a reminder, I have attached his letter sent to you last November.


The response to appeals for information has not been good and I’m becoming very concerned.


The next meeting of the Technical Group is on July 6-10 and the deadline for submission of documents is in the second week of May.


ISCO worked hard to gain Consultative Status at IMO and in order to maintain this privilege we do need to make a positive contribution. I know you’re busy people and I know that some of may find it difficult to write reports – please don’t worry – I shall be happy to edit as necessary. I urge you to send an email. In addition to helping ISCO you will be doing yourself a favour – your contribution will figure in subsequent reports and publications. Governments and other entities will be informed on who has the relevant knowledge and experience.


Kind regards







ISCO is pleased to announce the appointment of Mary Anne Dalgleish as Membership Secretary. In this capacity Mary Anne will be helping ISCO build its international membership, also taking care of membership records and the invoicing of membership renewals.


Currently, ISCO has members in 33 countries. Membership of ISCO open to all professionals, companies and organisations involved in Spill Control and related disciplines.  ISCO's mission is to raise worldwide preparedness and co-operation in response to oil and chemical spills, to promote technical development and professional competency, and to provide a focus for making the knowledge and experience of spill control professionals available to IMO, UNEP and other organizations. You are invited to apply for membership.



ISCO is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Dan Silberman as Website Events Pages Secretary. Dan is already working to update the current listings of forthcoming conferences, exhibitions, and scheduled training courses for Oil and Chemical Spill Response, and for Homeland Defence / CBRN Incident Response. There is some catch-up work to get these pages fully up-to-date again but good progress is being made. Events organisers and providers of scheduled training courses can now send information for uploading on the site to Dan directly atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


24th November, 2008


Dear Member of ISCO,


Please find below a letter to you from Rear Admiral Michael L. Stacey, CB.


Michael has kindly undertaken to take on the work of collating information for the project ISCO is undertaking for IMO. I would be very grateful for your co-operation and support in this matter. All submissions will be acknowledged in the report which will be circulated to the many governmental and other delegations who are represented in the OPRC-HNS Technical Group.


Kind regards





Dear Colleague


You will be aware that last autumn ISCO was granted NGO status at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). This is a privilege to which we in ISCO had long aspired and which we are extremely keen to retain. Our status is due for permanent review after the first two years, i.e. the autumn of 2009 and we are keen that by then we will have made sufficient impact on the organisation to ensure our  retention as an established NGO

We have already identified several areas of influence that we can exploit, but I believe that there is probably more that we could do through our membership of the OPRC HNS Technical Group. There is already separate work being done on the rationalisation of relevant IMO manuals and guidelines, but I believe that through our membership we could provide a unique complementary and useful record of live experiences based on our personal participation in HNS spill clean-up operations.


I am prepared to compile such a list with your help. Whilst imposing on you as little as possible could I ask you to send me details of any such involvement you, or your Company, might have been involved in over recent years. It would seem that the easiest way to do this would be for you to send a report to me by e-mail-no longer than a couple of pages and in accordance with a format, which I could build into a list of involvements and experiences. My-mail address is michael.stacey@onetel,.com 



Perhaps the following lay-out would help keep us all on the same line




Company name


Location of incident


Brief description of incident


Response to include, response levels, need for external support, Government involvement, use of sub-contractors, accreditation requirements etc.

Cost of operations - compensation?


Lasting environmental effects


Lessons learnt - prevention of repetition,.




   In anticipation I thank you for your cooperation

                             With best wishes

                              Michael L Stacey

                              Member Executive Committee


Michael Stacey

Phone: 01252 713032

6 Headon Court

The Close

Tilford Road

Farnham GU9 8DR



Dear Member of ISCO,


Since I last wrote, the following have been welcomed as new members of ISCO -


* Hamdan Al-Ghamdi (General Manager, Environmental Protection, Saudi Arabia)

* Sesmeke Environmental Services (Corporate Member, Turkey)

* Captain Thejo Sadhu Prakash (Individual Member, India)

* SpillGo Ltd. (Corporate Member, Ireland)

* Evolution Sorbent Products (Corporate Member, USA)


As reported in the ISCO Newsletter, an ISCO delegation attended the 8th meeting of the IMO OPRC-HNS Technical Group in London last week. Outcomes include -


1. ISCO is contributing to a working group to gather information needed for the development of IMO Technical Guidelines on Sunken Oil Assessment and Removal Techniques. The workscope involves the recovery of not only negative buoyancy oil from the seabed but also the recovery of oil from sunken vessels. Will ISCO members who have been involved in such operations please drop me a line and I shall write to you separately on this matter.


2. ISCO has also agreed to assist in an IMO initiative to gather information about experience gained and lessons learned in regard to response to Marine HNS Incident Response - both actual incidents and near-misses. Will ISCO members who have been involved in such operations please drop me a line and I shall write to you separately on this matter.


3. In association with our sister organisation - The International Spill Accreditation Association (ISAA) - ISCO is to submit a paper to the next IMO OPRC-HNS TG meeting on the training and accreditation of inland responders to help answer the shortage of qualified people available to manage large numbers of volunteers and other inexperienced personnel in shoreline clean-up operations.

Looking particularly at (1) and (2) above, this is an opportunity for involved companies and consultants to raise their profiles at IMO as I'm sure that contributions will figure in subsequent reports and publications. Governments and other entities will be informed on who has the relevant knowledge and experience.


All of the above initiatives help to raise the profile of ISCO and reinforce the value of the organization as a point of contact for sourcing needed expertise and products in future emergencies.


On a related point, through the Newsletter and New Technology website pages, ISCO can help you to tell the world about new techniques and products. It is part of our remit to do this and you can benefit.


The ISCO website is based on a software programme called Joomla and I'm still very much on a learning curve. If any of you (or any member of your staff) is willing to help with uploading documents on the website, I would be extremely pleased to hear from you.

Finally, a few reminders ...


* Some members have not yet registered on the website. You need to do this in order to access the Members' Area.

* Corporate members can place free advertisements in the Supplies & Services Section of the Public Area of the ISCO website. Contact the Secretary for details.

* IMO is looking to ISCO for qualified individuals to support its Technical Co-operation Programme, helping third world countries to implement OPRC and other conventions. Day rate, travel and subsistence costs are payable to selected candidates. For more info, contact ISCO Secretary.

* We would like to include a few words about yourself (or your company if you're a Corporate Member) under your name in the list of ISCO members. This is by way of an introduction to help members to get to know each other. If you wish, you can include your Email and/or other contact details.

* On the matter of outstanding subscriptions, I have been over the top with work but this is now a priority. If your subscription is not up to date, please correct this now. I really don't want to have to terminate any memberships.


Kind regards



Dear Member of ISCO,


It's nearly four months since I last wrote to you and much has happened in the interim.


The AGM took place as planned on 7th May at the International Oil Spill Conference in Savannah, USA. In case you haven't already read the minutes, you can find them at and, after signing in, click on "ISCO", then "meetings".


ISCO President, David Usher, represented ISCO at the IMO Council meeting in London over 16-20 June. He was able to renew contacts with members of other international delegations and update them on new developments. David also represented ISCO and presented a paper on Submerged Oil Recovery at a recent Underwater Environment Conference in Sweden.


Since I last wrote, the following have been welcomed as new members of ISCO - The Sea Alarm Foundation (Associate Member); John Wardrop (Australia); Slickbar Indonesia; Jean Claude Sainlos, Sampling Planejamento (Brazil) and Ro-Clean Desmi.


International representation on the ISCO Executive Committee has been significantly improved with the election of Jean Claude Sainlos (France) at the AGM and the co-option of Paul Pisani (Malta) and Kerem Kemerli (Turkey) following on nomination proposals received from members. Looking forwards, it is hoped to increase international representation on the Committee with elected representatives from other regions such as Australia, Far East, Africa, South America, Middle East and Scandinavia/Northern Europe.


A Sub-Committee has been formed to revise and update the ISCO Constitution. The revised constitution will be circulated to members for approval at least one month before the next AGM which will be held at Interspill (Marseille, France) in May, 2009.


A small Sub-Committee has also been formed to manage ISCO's relationship with IMO. The members are Jean-Claude Sainlos, John Noble (Individual member of ISCO and advisor to the International Salvage Union (ISU) and ISCO Secretary, John McMurtrie. As the former head of IMO's Marine Environment Division, Jean-Claude has first hand knowledge of IMO's modus operandi. John Noble, as the former CEO of the Salvage Association, has a sound understanding of marine pollution issues. He will be in London regularly and will be well placed to maintain a dialogue with ISCO's contacts in IMO.


Looking forwards, ISCO will be providing official observers at the full-scale international response exercise between Canada and the USA in September, 2008 and an ISCO delegation will be participating in the IMO MEPC OPRC-HNS Technical Group Meetings in London from September 29 - October 3.


Our sister organization, the International Spill Accreditation Association is continuing to develop the All-Ireland Spill Response Organization Accreditation Scheme and your Secretary has attended further meetings of the Steering Group in Dublin and Belfast. The situation is encouraging with a number of new applications received from contractors wishing to gain accreditation. The current priority is the planning of a seminar and training event to take place in late September.


Most recently, a meeting was held last week with members of the UK Spill board to discuss co-operation over the setting up of an international correspondence group to develop accreditation criteria for spill response organizations (OSROs) involved in chemical and HNS response - more news on this later.


In response to requests from response contractors in the Mediterranean area wishing to gain ISAA International Accredited Status, discussions are ongoing with a view to setting up a Mediterranean Region Accreditation Scheme. ISAA is pleased to advise that Darko Domovic, the former Head of Operations at REMPEC (Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Centre for the Mediterranean) will have a key role in this new development.

Finally, a few reminders and announcements -


* ISCO is looking for volunteers willing to give a few hours of their time to assist in managing the ISCO website. If you would like to help, please drop me an Email atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


* Patricia Charlebois of IMO writes "I strongly encourage delegations who have been involved in oil and/or HNS pollution incidents to submit any information on these, as these are valuable means of exchanging experiences and lessons learned". ISCO Members who feel they may be able to make a contribution should contact the Secretary as soon as possible.


* Some members have not yet registered on the website. You need to do this in order to access the Members' Area.


* Interspill Conference (Marseille, France, May 2009) has issued a call for papers. Deadline is 15th September. 


* Corporate members can place free advertisements in the Supplies & Services Section of the Public Area of the ISCO website. Contact the Secretary for details.


* IMO is looking to ISCO for qualified individuals to support its Technical Co-operation Programme, helping third world countries to implement OPRC and other conventions. Day rate, travel and subsistence costs are payable to selected candidates. For more info, contact ISCO Secretary.


* We would like to include a few words about yourself (or your company if you're a Corporate Member) under your name in the list of ISCO members. This is by way of an introduction to help members to get to know each other. If you wish, you can include your Email and/or other contact details.


* Finally, I'm sorry to have to say that a (thankfully) very small number of members have neglected to keep their subscriptions up-to-date. At the last AGM it was decided that Members who fail to pay their subscriptions will receive a reminder and if outstanding membership dues are not paid within 30 days, membership will be terminated.


That's all for now.

Kind regards,




Dear Member of ISCO,


I have started to prepare the Agenda and Papers for our 2008 AGM which will take place at IOSC in Savannah, Georgia, USA. The conference runs from 4-8 May, 2008 and if you need more information the website is at

The day and time for the meeting hasn’t yet been fixed. I shall be in touch again to let you know as soon as I can. I hope to see as many of you as possible at the AGM.


Quite a lot has happened since I last wrote to you.


David Usher (President), Rear Admiral Stacey (Member of Executive Committee) and I had a very useful and positive meeting with Stefan Micallef (Deputy Director, IMO Marine Environment Division, IMO), Patricia Charlebois (Head, Pollution Response Section) and Malamine Thiam (Head, Technical Co-operation Co-ordination and Major Projects) in London on 11th February. Discussions focused on a list of points (attached). The minutes of the meeting are still under review by IMO but will be published ASAP in the Members Only part of the ISCO website.


ISCO was well represented at the OPRC-HNS Technical Group meetings held over 25-28 March at Southampton. The ISCO delegation included David Usher, Michael Stacey, Dr Merv Fingas (Member of Council for Canada), Kevin Miller (Member of Council for UK) and myself.


David Usher, Michael Stacey and Dr Douglas Cormack (Honorary Member) formed the ISCO delegation to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting over March 31 – April 4.


Attendance at both of these events was very positive for ISCO, raising our profile and giving the ISCO delegates an opportunity to network with attendees from many countries. At the OPRC-HNS meeting, Dr Fingas and Kevin Miller both participated in working groups, making a positive contribution to the creation of new IMO manuals for the use by international response community.


Disappointingly, only three ISCO members have so far expressed interest in the invitation to become involved in the IMO Integrated Technical Co-operation Programme (for details see my letter 2008-2 (attached). I hope more of you will now come forward.


As you’re already aware, ISCO is managing the International Spill Accreditation Association (ISAA). Progress in the setting up of a new management committee with participation of international stakeholders is proving to be slow but we hope that, by demonstrating the value of the work being done by ISAA in raising response standards, we will merit more support.


In Ireland, there is considerable enthusiasm for the further development of the ISAA All-Ireland OSRO Accreditation Scheme. The Steering Group is working hard on a range of measures to raise response standards. Aspects being addressed include upgrading of training and response personnel competency; the development and adoption of clean-up standards; review of insurance cover levels; improving spill response administration and provision of information to clients; upgrading of response call-out and stand-by arrangements; and plans for upgrading the ISAA website, including a new database of services provided by members, the creation of a members’ forum and improved access to technical support for response capacity building.


ISAA is working to establish similar Accreditation Schemes in other countries and, if you think that this would be of benefit in your country, please get in touch with me.


ISCO is pleased to welcome Dr Douglas Cormack as an Honorary Member. As the former Chief Scientist at the British Government’s Marine Pollution Control Unit and head of the UK’s first government agency, the Warren Spring Laboratory, Douglas is a well known and highly respected figure in the spill response community. He is the Chairman and a founder member of the International Spill Accreditation Association.


ISCO is also pleased to welcome the following new Corporate Members - Briggs Marine Environmental Services Ltd. (based in Baku, Azerbaijan); Lamor Corporation Ab and Clean Globe International (both with HQ in Porvoo, Finland), and Slickbar Products Corporation (based in Seymour, Connecticut, U.S.A).


Work is ongoing to start populating the Technical and Reference Pages of the ISCO website. The intention is to upload practical information that will help members to build and improve spill response knowledge. It’s your website and I hope you will contribute useful information based on your own experience.


I’m in process of extending the ISCO Members Mailing List to include additional contacts within companies that hold corporate membership of ISCO. Please let me have names and Email addresses of staff members who would like to receive my occasional letters and/or be added to the Newsletter mailing list. In the meantime, please circulate this letter to any members of your staff that you think likely to be interested.


Finally, a reminder - If you haven’t already registered on the ISCO website at Please do so now. Until you’ve done this your access to the Members’ Area can’t be switched on.


Kind regards


John McMurtrie, Secretary.



Dear Member of ISCO,


There are two points that I omitted to mention in my earlier letter.


(1) As part of our commitment to IMO, ISCO has been asked to put forward names of qualified individuals who could be called upon to assist in IMO’s Integrated Technical Co-operation Programme. This has to do with the provision of technical support for governments in implementing international conventions such as, for example, OPRC and OPRC-HNS and can involve help with national contingency plan development, inputs to seminars and workshops, training (delivery of IMO model courses), etc. Other tasks can include spill investigation, technical support for governments during spill events and support for negotiation of regional co-operation arrangements between governments. Selected individuals may be employed by IMO as consultants undertaking short-term projects in various countries. Interested Members should send me a copy of their CVs / Qualifications and Experience Statements. Only the most suitable individuals will be short listed and asked to complete IMO Personal History forms. There are no guarantees that work will ensue but the list of qualified individuals will be used by IMO for selecting personnel to undertake project work. If engaged, a day rate is payable plus travel and subsistence allowance.


(2) The names of all ISCO Members (Corporate and Individual) are listed on the ISCO website within the part of the site that can only be accessed by Members. Listings of Members of the Executive Committee and Council are accompanied by short profiles.  A suggestion has been made that Members (Corporate and Individual) would appreciate being able to learn about each other – where they are based, what they do and other information of interest. If you would like to have a summary profile (around 100-150 words) about yourself or your company (if you are a Corporate Member) included under your listing, please send me suitable text for uploading.


Kind regards

John McMurtrie



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 


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



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.



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.   


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 select MEMBERSHIP and click on PROFESSIONAL.


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.


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

Kind regards,

Engr.Sylvester Egwu


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.