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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 October 2006, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Brussels hears oil transfer fears
Firth of Forth - by Shelley Thomson
Contingency arrangements have been agreed for possible spills
Concerns over proposed oil transfers in the Forth have been taken to Brussels by Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Bruce Crawford and MEP Alyn Smith.

The SNP politicians spoke with senior officials in the European Commission's environment department on Tuesday.

Mr Crawford said he was concerned because the Forth was a protected and environmentally vulnerable area.

Forth Ports' contingency plans for any accidents were recently approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

However, Mr Crawford said there was a great deal of confusion over the proposals.

I have no doubt that the Commission is taking this case very seriously
Bruce Crawford
Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP

He said: "Having taken Scotland's concerns to Brussels and sought advice from EU officials I am now even clearer that the Scottish government must take ultimate responsibility for the approval of ship to ship oil transfers.

"Through no fault of theirs Forth Ports faces a conflict of interest that cannot be allowed to persist.

"The commission is investigating the information they have received from the SNP and are actively taking forward a complaint."

Mr Smith said: "I welcome the commission's decision to take this investigation further and to talk to the UK authorities. It's just a shame this issue could not be sorted out in Scotland."


SEE ALSO
Oil transfer spills risk revealed
12 Sep 06 |  Edinburgh and East
Oil transfer plan hurdle removed
01 Sep 06 |  Edinburgh and East
Forth oil transfer gets go-ahead
14 Jul 06 |  Edinburgh and East
Frustration at oil transfer plan
24 May 06 |  Edinburgh and East
Lobby against oil transfer plan
09 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Views wanted on oil transfer plan
21 Nov 05 |  Scotland
Council fights oil transfer plan
10 Jun 05 |  Scotland

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