Greenland publishes oil spill plans

Aug. 16, 2011 at 6:56 AM
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NUUK, Greenland, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Greenland's government published a response plan in the event of an oil spill off its coast, a move Greenpeace said fell short of what's expected.

Greenpeace in early June said it forced energy company Cairn to stop drilling operations in the arctic waters off Greenland for four days when activists suspended themselves from a survival pod on the company's oil rig.

Greenpeace said it wants to see Cairn's plans in the event of an oil spill in the region. Activists claim the rush to explore potential new oil and natural gas reserves in areas exposed by melting arctic sea ice could create safety and environmental problems.

Greenland's government published a 214-page response plan that outlines monitoring equipment, response plans and spill movement scenarios. The initial response includes controlled burns, onshore response and the use of chemical dispersants.

The government said the plan was developed by Cairn in coordination with Oil Spill Response Ltd.

Greenpeace said, despite in-depth analysis of removing oil trapped in ice and other remediation strategies, the plan does "very little" to address concerns about oil spills in arctic waters.

The advocacy group claims there is nothing in the document to refute claims by London that an oil spill in arctic waters would be next to impossible to clean up.

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