Date lodged: 29 September 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what action it can take to ensure that ship-to-ship oil transfers do not proceed in areas where communities have raised ecological concerns.
Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 29 November 2017
Powers relating to ship to ship transfers of crude oil are wholly reserved to the UK Government. Given our devolved responsibilities for the environment, including protection of Scotland’s world-renowned marine environment, the Scottish Government takes great interest in any matter which may pose an unacceptable risk to marine biodiversity or ecosystems. Despite having no formal role in the process, despite requests to UK Ministers to be added as a formal ‘consultation body’, or to have the role of consenting authority devolved to Scottish Ministers no progress has been made. The Scottish Government will make the UK Government aware of its own assessment of the risks associated with ship-to-ship transfers in this specific context and will relay any environmental concerns raised by communities for any future ship to ship applications in Scottish waters should a new licence application be submitted.