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December 21 – The EMSA Programming Document 2019-2021 was adopted by the Administrative Board at the end of 2018.
It constitutes the Agency’s roadmap for the year to come, laying out the specific actions and resources for 2019, and provides an indication of possible developments in the medium term.
• In 2019, EMSA’s “tool-box” available to support the pollution response mechanisms of coastal States will include:
• The network of stand-by oil spill response vessels around the European coastline, which will remain at the core of EMSA’s operational pollution response services;
• The Equipment Assistance Service (EAS) in the Northern Baltic Sea, Baltic Sea, North
Sea and Adriatic Sea offering specialized equipment for Vessels of Opportunity (VOO);
• The sea-borne dispersant application capability, including dispersant stocks and spraying equipment provided by selected vessels arrangements and also available for VOO.
As risks differ in regions, the distribution and response capabilities of the operational pollution response services provided by the Agency are based on environmental sensitivities of sea areas, amount of oil transported in the area, ship traffic density, existing oil pollution response capacity in coastal States of that region, etc. Following a review of the geographical distribution and number of response arrangements, in 2019 the location of certain response arrangements will be optimised.
In order to improve the reliability of the (ageing) oil spill response equipment and ensure a high quality service to the Member States, renewal of selected equipment sets will be carried out either through replacement by newer equipment or the overhauling of the existing systems.
Moreover, in 2019 the Agency will continue strengthening existing response arrangements considering latest developments of state-of-the-art equipment.