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Spill Notification Point
Competent National Authority
The Cayman Islands National Oil Spill Contingency Plan was adopted in 1997 and enabled in legislation in 2001. Under the Plan, the Ministry responsible for environmental affairs approves policy for oil spill prevention and response, whilst the Department of Environment provides the operational role for spill response, training, planning and administration. An incident command centre is used to draw expertise and resources from various government and private agencies.
As a dependency of the United Kingdom, further assistance would be sought from the UK in the event of a major incident.
Given the abundance of environmentally sensitive nearshore and coastal resources which forms the basis of eco-tourism, a high priority is placed on habitat protection. The use of Net Environmental Benefit Analysis is typically implemented to determine response strategy. Aerial application of dispersants remains a key tool in protecting sensitive shoreline and endangered species along with booming and other traditional response techniques. Small amounts of recovered oil are incinerated rather than landfilled. There are no immediate means for the disposal of large amounts of oil or oily debris.
The government holds a stock of dispersant, and two government-owned crop-spraying aircraft are constantly available for aerial spraying of dispersant at sea. A substantial collection of tier 1 equipment is housed in three dedicated response trailers for island wide deployment, including 8000ft of 18" boom on 6 mobile trailers, 8 skimmers, 3 diesel and 3 gasoil powered pumps, storage tanks, personal protection equipment, hand tools, sorbents, lights and generators. The Marine Parks officers are trained to respond to spills and have open boats for monitoring and surveillance. A manual labour force of 100-150 people could be mustered for beach clean-up. Heavy machinery used by the construction industry may be available for use on severely oiled beaches.
Local operating oil companies, Texaco and Esso, have the following equipment - 2 skimmers and several storage bladders - for responding to minor spills at their terminals. This could also be made available to the government. There are several privately-owned tugs and barges available for hire in the port.
Previous Spill Experience
There have been a number of minor operational spills at the terminals. These have been allowed to disperse naturally or with the aid of chemical dispersants.
Prevention & Safety
|OPRC '90||OPRC HNS|
* not yet in force
Regional and bilateral agreements
- Cartagena Convention (with states of the Wider Caribbean Region).
Date of issue: May 2011
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