IMO OPRC-HNS TECHNICAL GROUP MEETING HELD LAST WEEK

IMO OPRC-HNS TECHNICAL GROUP MEETING HELD LAST WEEK

The ISCO Delegation to the TG15 meeting consisted in David Usher Hon.FISCO, President of ISCO, John McMurtrie MA FEI Hon.FISCO, ISCO Secretary and Dr Douglas Cormack Hon.FISCO.

The meeting was opened by Mr Dandu Pughiuc, Senior Deputy Director, Marine Environment Division and chaired by Mr Alexander von Buxhoeveden of Sweden. Delegations from 22 nations and representatives from EC, IOPC Funds, IMarEST, Intertanko, OGP, IPIECA, ISCO, ITOPF, OCIMF, WNTI and RAC/REMPEITC-CARIB attended the meeting.

Matters worked upon by the group included the IMO Dispersant Guidelines, Oil Spill Response in ice and snow conditions, Guidelines on international offers of assistance, Guidance on safe operation of oil spill combatting equipment, Review and updating of the OPRC Model training courses, Collation of data on incidents involving HNS, including lessons learnt, and a review of web content and inventory of information on oil and HNS preparedness and response. The Group also worked on the assessment of High Priority Items for future work relating to Contingency Planning for HNS incidents and for offshore units, sea ports and oil handling facilities.

Delegations gave short presentations / information on a number of matters of interest – Chemical Response Guides developed by CEDRE (France); “Understanding Chemical Pollution at Sea” – A new website (Canada and France); Report of the Industry Technical Advisory Committee (IPIECA); Knowledge-based response planning for marine incidents (ISCO); The POSOW Project, including the 4 recently published manuals (REMPEC); The Oil Spill Response Planning and Readiness Assessment Manual and Tool, currently under revision (ARPEL); Information on the M/T Stolt Valor incident and its implications in regard to places of refuge for ships in need of assistance (ROPME/MEMAC); Report on the activities of the International Technical Co-operation Programme (IMO Secretariat).

An election took place to appoint the new TG Chairman and Vice-Chairman.  Vice-Chairman, Mr Woo-Rack Suh (Republic of Korea) was elected as the new Chairman and Mr Christophe Rousseau (France) as Vice-Chairman.

The Meeting expressed its appreciation to the outgoing Chairman, Mr Alexander von Buhoeveden for his leadership of the Technical Group throughout his tenure.

Other matters of note – The meeting learned that Ms Patricia Charlebois of the IMO Secretariat, who has worked so hard for many years in organising the work of the TG will be moving on to another position within the organisation. However, her successor will be in need of her help for some time and it is hoped that we will see her again at TG16. The meeting expressed its appreciation for her very substantial contribution to the success of the group.  We also learned that Mr Robert Pond, Senior Member of the US Delegation will be retiring.  Bob Pond has been a very significant contributor to the work of the TG and will be very much missed. Everyone wished him well in the future.