28 June 2013
The Premiam partners are pleased to announce that decision making, co-ordination and funding arrangements for post-spill monitoring and impact assessments in English waters have now been agreed and endorsed by the key government departments and agencies.
The agreed arrangements are set out in a short guidance document (PDF, 417 KB) and put in place clarity over important aspects such as the decision process to initiate environmental monitoring, agreed funding for the initial monitoring phase and introduces the concept of the Premiam Monitoring Coordination Cell (PMCC).
The PMCC is tasked with ensuring any monitoring programme is initiated promptly and in line with best practice scientific principles as laid out in the Premiam: Post-spill Monitoring Guidelines (PDF, 6 MB) which were published in 2011. The PMCC in England has a pre-identified Chair and Deputy chair from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the Environment Agency respectively. Robin Law (Cefas) has been appointed as the PMCC chair for England and brings over 35 years experience in the conduct of comprehensive marine environmental monitoring programmes including following such incidents as the Amoco Cadiz (1978), Eleni V (1978), Perintis (1989), Sea Empress (1996) and MSC Napoli (2007).
The guidance forms part of an ongoing programme of activity and deliverables from the Premiam initiative (www.cefas.defra.co.uk/premiam) aimed at applying scientific best practice to environmental monitoring following chemical and oil spills into the marine environment. The Premiam programme is also focussed on improving the management and coordination of post-spill monitoring activity and this agreement is seen as a significant step forward for incidents in English waters.
The guidance has been developed in consultation with the wider Premiam partners group but has been specifically agreed and endorsed by those departments and agencies with policy and funding responsibilities for post-spill monitoring in English waters, namely; the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Environment Agency, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Complementary documents are currently being developed for Scotland (PDF, 498 KB), Wales and Northern Ireland (PDF, 537 KB) and the Premiam partners are working together to have these in place in due course.
Any questions about this guidance or the wider Premiam programme can be directed to the Premiam group coordinator Mark Kirby at firstname.lastname@example.org