Maritime Pollution Prevention and Controls
Places of Refuge (PoR):
Emergency Response to Maritime Related Incidents
As part of the Pollution and Incidence Response Unit (PIRU) duties, Officers are required as requested or following feedback by Inspectors (P&YD Inspectorate Unit) to go on-site in case of smaller-scale maritime-related incidents. The actions associated with the latter include (1) initial assessment of the incident, (2) ascertaining correct response take place by the appropriate individuals or entities and overseeing or coordinating all necessary action, (3) liaising with third parties such as Terminal and Facility Operators, Civil Protection and Malta Environment and Planning Authority as necessary (4) determining that sufficient action has been taken to declare the incident closed and (5) compiling a report or recording the incident.
The PIRU is also involved in the CleanSeaNet initiative and the CleanSeaNet user group set up by the European Maritime Safety Agency where satellite technology is utilised to localise oil pollution at sea. Presently Transport Malta is the National Competent Authority for this measure.
Maltas preparedness to response to a maritime incident
With respect to preparedness and response to large scale incidentis. An incident that a single terminal or entity may not be able to handle, the PIRU is responsible for the implementation and maintenance of the National Marine Pollution Contingency Plan (NMPCP)and the maintenance and operation of offshore Oil Response Equipment newly acquired through the EEA Financial Mechanism. For more information on EEA Grants see this website. An annual full-scale oil pollution response exercise in collaboration with the European Maritime Safety Agency is carried out as part of ongoing oil and HNS spill response training.
Apart from the main duties carried out as listed above, additional work is carried out by the PIRU that includes handling participation in projects, aspects of environmental issues with respect to ports and shipping, delivery of internal training including refresher training and occasional delivery of lectures to external entities upon request. Ongoing projects and examples of such work include:
- Calypso Project (ongoing)
- Representation on several committees and working groups
- Attendance to relevant meetings and workshops related to pollution prevention and control and environmental issues.
- Liaison with national entities including other Authorities and Departments
- Liaison with regional and international entities such as the European Maritime Safety Agency and the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea
- Shipping, Ports and Environmental Issues ( e.g. reviewing environmental legislation and policies that affect directly or indirectly port and shipping activity at a national level).