No local authority on its own has the capacity to cope with a major oil slick hitting its coastline. Rather is there a national emergency plan in such a situation, with multi agencies involved.
That was the response of Town Manager Brian White at the March meeting of Tramore Town Council when Cllr James McCartan voiced concern over the threat, as evidenced off the south coast in recent weeks, of oil spillages at sea.
He said there was a need to have the ability to tackle the problem at sea rather than allowing a slick come ashore. “If oil arrived into the back strand how would we get it out again”, he wondered.
Mr White said that when the oil slick recently threatened the Waterford coast County Council staff were on standby, but thankfully an emergency did not materialise and hence there was no need to trigger the emergency plan.
Under persistent pressure from Cllr McCartan, he undertook to make contact with the relevant agencies to discuss the appropriate response.
No money for beach cleaning truck
Areas Engineer Jane O’Neill told Cllr McCartan that no financial provision had yet been made for purchase of a €15,000 utility truck for cleaning rubbish off the beach.
He said the Council had agreed 18 months ago to investigate the possibility of acquiring such a vehicle.
Ms O’Neill admitted that street bins had been overflowing on recent Monday mornings because of no weekend collections at a time when relatively good weather was attracting large crowds to the resort.
Some big bins, she said, would now be put in place to cater for rising demand.
Meanwhile, she said an inter-directorate meeting had been held between area staff and the environment and housing sections to agree a coordinated approach to the IBAL clean towns challenge for Tramore.
Work would be strategically directed towards the approach roads and Ring Road, supermarket car parks, schools and the problem of dog fouling.