Concerns Raised For Oil Transfer In Moray Firth



Campaigners are worried that the ship-to-ship transfers might pose a threat to the marine animals including the dolphin population in Moray Firth.  They are fighting a bid to allow Moray Firth ship-to-ship oil transfers until they make sure that their complaints are lodged by first week in February.

SNP Councillor Craig Fraser told The National: “The community and councillors found out about this by default in December.  It did not give the community very much time to respond to this surprising application.”

“The consultees – Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) and Highland Council – managed to get an extension of the deadline to February 8.”

Cromarty Firth Port Authority (CFPA) applied for permission to carry out the operations off the coast of Ross-shire, but those against the plan said they had found out about it “by default”.  CFPA predicts the transfers of up to 180,000 tonnes no more than four times a month, making a total of 8.6 million tonnes a year.

It reported on transfer saying: “The proposed cargo transfers will not have any adverse effects on human health.  Effects of disturbance of marine mammals and seabirds due to the proposed cargo transfer are considered to be insignificant, as the shipping industry and wildlife have co-existed for many years in the Moray Firth and Cromarty Firth.”

Environmentalists warns that the heavy crude oil and medium oil transfers might pose a greater risk, also environmental disasters, than ship-to-ship transfers at the nearby Nigg oil terminal, which are already licensed.

Fraser commented that: “The communities rely on a healthy tourism industry. It’s such a pristine environment. We lost the Invergordon smelter back in the early 1980s and it’s taken a generation for the water quality to return to where it was.”

“It only takes one pollution spill to destroy that again.”

Source: The National



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