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Oil Spill Response To Be Tested At Port

Taranaki Regional Council media release
28 April 2008
For immediate release

Oil Spill Response To Be Tested At Port

Boaties and others using Port Taranaki this week are being urged to steer clear of booms that will be deployed as part of an oil spill response exercise.

The two-day exercise begins on Tuesday (29 April) and the booms will be deployed between Blyde Wharf and the reclamation area. They will remain in place throughout Tuesday night before being removed on Wednesday.

The exercise will involve more than 30 staff from the Taranaki Regional Council, Port Taranaki Ltd, the oil industry, contractors and observers from Maritime New Zealand.

The Regional On-Scene Commander for oil spill response, Bruce Pope, says the safety of all personnel and the public has been a top priority in planning the exercise.

“We need the public’s co-operation in carrying out this exercise, as we would if we were responding to a real spill,” he says

“The boat ramp at the Lee Breakwater will remain open during the exercise but we are urging boaties to take extra care.”

Mr Pope says exercises are vital to ensure there will always be a competent and efficient response to any oil spill along the Taranaki coastline. This week’s operation builds on regular “table top” theoretical exercises carried out by the response team, the most recent taking place only last month.

This ensures the team is ready for events such as one at Okato last October when they had to deal with oil from an offshore production station that had washed up on to beaches and rocks.

“If there is an oil spill, we have a team ready to respond in a professional and timely manner using specialised equipment including the booms,” Mr Pope says.

“Our priorities are to contain and remove the oil as efficiently as possible, while minimising any harm to the environment – and always taking public safety into account.”


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