Written by Kia Friis Petersen, DCPL
This month we should have held an oil spill conference and exercise at the island Fanoe in Denmark. Due to the corona situation, it has been postponed to the autumn (23rd to 25th September), so we continue our preparations. At the event, we will gather Danish rescue authorities and other interested stakeholders. Hopefully, we can also welcome our partners in the OIL SPILL project as travel restrictions are removed in the Baltic Sea countries.
The Danish Civil Protection League should have ended our active participation in the project by the end of June, but with the postponement, we will stay active a little longer. In the following months, we are conducting a survey on the volunteers’ participation in oil spill response in Denmark and the need for more volunteers who are educated in oil spill response. The hope is, of course, to find that the volunteers are actively engaged in different tasks in all regions of the country, and that they have the necessary education to handle these tasks. If this, however, is not the case, we will look at possible ways to increase the cooperation between authorities and volunteers.
By participating in the OIL SPILL project, we have been able to put a focus on the importance of preparation and planning regarding oil spill response. With an 8 750 km stretch of coast, several protected coast areas, and the high traffic rate in our waters, we have every reason to be prepared for large oil spills in Denmark. Luckily, it is not often they occur, but the risk is existing, and the consequences could be catastrophic for the environment.