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Highlands and Islands Greens
Highlands and Islands Greens

Local Green MSP Candidate Visits Orkney Site of Oil Transfers

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

Eleanor Scott, top Highlands & Islands MSP candidate, will today (Monday) visit the site of ship-to-ship oil transfers on Orkney to meet harbour staff and find out more about oil transfers.

Greens are leading the campaign against the controversial Firth of Forth oil transfer proposal because the area has various protected habitats and species.  Scapa Flow is one of only three UK sites considered suitable for ship-to-ship oil transfers.  Greens are not opposed to ship-to-ship oil transfers per se, but want a review of the best UK locations to carry out these operations.  It is likely that Scapa would be a strong contender but that the Forth would not be.

Dr Scott said, “Oil transfers have taken place safely in Scapa Flow for over 25 years in a sheltered environment and Greens believe this is the sort of place where they should be carried out – not at swinging anchor out in the Firth of Forth.  The Forth plan poses a huge threat to the local economy and environment which is already suffering from the serious sewage leak that occurred this weekend – but in Orkney transfers can take place in a suitable site with all the expertise of the staff here.

“It seems ludicrous that Forth Ports and SPT Marine are pursuing their Forth plan when the Greens, councils, NGOs and communities are united in opposition.  The lesson to be learnt from the Braer disaster in 1993 is that transporting oil needs to be done with the utmost care and respect for the local environment and all who depend on it for their livelihoods.”

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