The PREMIAM programme started life as a Defra-funded project
aimed at improved post spill monitoring guidance and co-ordination.
It is now established as a cross-government collaborative programme
aiming to establish and maintain a long-term legacy of improvement
in this field. It is co-ordinated by emergency response and impact
assessment experts from Cefas (Centre for Environment, Fisheries
and Aquaculture Science), has wide support from all key government
stakeholders and fully engages the scientific and emergency
response community in delivering its aims.
What's the issue?
Spills of oils and chemicals in the marine environment remain a
significant threat. Therefore, the requirement for response
capability, improved preparedness and effective post-incident
monitoring and assessment remains undiminished.
Why the need for better and more effective post-incident
- We need to ensure we provide early evidence of potential impact
to government and the general public.
- We need to have an appropriate and effective way of
investigating the impact on the wider marine environment.
- Impact assessment methodology needs to be considered that not
only assesses the short-term impacts, but also allows the
prediction of potential longer-term impacts.
- We need to ensure a more effective use of resources so that
unnecessary procedures are avoided but that potentially useful ones
are not overlooked.
- We need provide important information about the effectiveness,
or not, of spill response activities including the use of
These aims are being addressed through the production of expert
guidelines for post-incident monitoring and impact assessment and
the development of a fully co-ordinated mechanism for overseeing
the practical aspects of the programme (e.g. survey design,
sampling, analysis, interpretation etc.).
Following the Sea Empress spill in 1996 the
Donaldson Report recommended the setting up of Environment Groups
(EGs) to provide the response units with environmental advice and
guidance. This has been implemented by the Maritime and Coastguard
Agency. However, the EGs are purely advisory, often transitory and
do not have an established role in relation to monitoring
The establishment of an Impact Assessment Group was recommended
in the Sea Empress Environmental Evaluation Committee
report but no operational monitoring and impact assessment
co-ordinating body has yet been established. This programme is
establishing the concept and co-ordinating mechanisms for Premiam
Monitoring Coordination Cells (PMCC) for each UK country, chaired
by an expert in the field, to fill that requirement. Amongst other
roles the PMCC will be the body through which any monitoring
recommendations made by the EG can be actioned.
To find out more or to get involved please contact us at email@example.com