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Coastal Pollution Incidents

Each week hundreds of ships pass:

  • along the north and south coasts of Cornwall and
  • between Lands End and the Isles of Scilly
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Statistically, each of these ships present some risk of pollution to the coast. This might arise as a result of many incidents. These could include:

  • collision
  • grounding
  • sinking
  • structural failure and
  • loss of cargo overboard

A major accident occurring many miles from the Cornish coast could affect the County. Even on the other side of the English Channel.

The main authorities likely to be dealing with a coastal pollution incident in Cornwall are:

  • Cornwall Council
  • Harbour Commissioners and Harbour Masters
  • Natural England
  • Environment Agency
  • Counter Pollution and Response Branch of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA)
  • Cornwall Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority
  • Marine Management Organisation (MMO)

Cornwall Council is responsible for:

  • Producing, validating, reviewing, and updating the Cornwall Coastal Counter Pollution Plan. And the Falmouth Bay and Estuaries Maritime Emergency Plan.
  • Providing a qualified Coastal Counter Pollution Officer (CCPO)
  • Co-ordinating the training of staff in oil counter-pollution measures such as Beachmaster training.
  • Dealing with small scale pollution incidents. Particularly the clean-up of amenity beaches and other publicly accessible foreshores.
  • Disposing of waste arising from clean-up operations.
  • Establishing, if necessary, the county Tactical Coordinating Group to co-ordinate counter pollution activities.

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