MORE than 60 people participated in a two-day water pollution exercise for members of the Shannon Estuary Anti-Pollution Team organised by Limerick City and County Council.
The exercise included a trial response to a coastal oil spillage scenario on estuary waters near Glin.
Membership of anti-pollution team is drawn from the Shannon-Foynes Port Company, local authorities in Limerick, Kerry and Clare as well as offshore industries and oil importers.
It was formed in 1993 to foster a unified co-ordinated response to pollution incidents on the Shannon Estuary.
As a maritime local authority, the Limerick Council is obliged to have an oil pollution response plan, have access to a stock of oil pollution response equipment and to train its staff in response techniques.
The Shannon Estuary is a designated marine Special Area of Conservation (SAC) to ensure the protection of whales, dolphins and porpoises. It is home to the only resident group of bottlenose dolphins in Irish waters.
As part of the exercise, 36 people also participated in a desktop emergency management protocol at Limerick City and County Council’s Dooradoyle offices.
Council Executive Engineer Paul O’Grady said the annual event was essential to maintain a permanent state of readiness to minimise the effects of such an event on the people and natural environment of the estuary.
The anti-pollution team members are equal shareholders and contribute an annual payment to cover the costs of exercises, training and the maintenance, replacement and upgrade of equipment.