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  http://www.iosc.org/

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  http://www.spillcontrol.org 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.


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