Reporting oil spills vital

5 September 2011

oil spills

The community is being reminded of the importance in reporting all marine oil spills and reduce the impact it can have on the environment.

Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure (DTEI), General Manager Transport Safety Regulation, Trent Rusby said oil spills can be dangerous and should be reported.

“Oil spills and spills of noxious or hazardous substances can have a significant impact on the environment. Toxic material is introduced to the food chain, degrades beaches and can affect marine life,” he said.

“Reporting a marine oil, fuel or noxious substance spill early is critical.”

Mr Rusby said anyone who suspects an oil spill should take the appropriate steps to report it.

“To check if the substance might be oil, rub it between your fingers – if the substance quickly washes off into the water it is probably algae as oil will not wash off easily,” he said.

“I urge all South Australians to report an oil leak immediately by calling (08) 8248 3505 or radio channel 12 at all hours, seven days a week.”

DTEI responds to all reported oil spills, looking to identify the cause of the spill while taking action to contain it.

Mr Rusby said it is important that the public leave the clean up and investigation into marine oil spills to the appropriately trained response agencies.

 “DTEI will physically respond to the incident to provide initial site management and emergency response. We then collaborate with other government agencies throughout the process.”

Mr Rusby said in situations were a marine spill has occurred, it is helpful to provide as much information as possible.

“When reporting a leak it is imperative that you relay all the details you have at hand. This includes the nature of the leak, when and where the spill occurred, the type of substance, the extent of the spill and the name of the vessel it may have come from if that is known,” he said.

For more information visit the Reporting oil spills page on