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Obtaining approval to use an oil spill control agent at sea or on a shoreline

Under the National Plan for Maritime Environmental Emergencies, only those OSCAs listed on the OSCA Register are able to be used in a National Plan response.
AMSA 331
1 November 2016

To gain register listing, OSCAs must successfully pass tests on efficacy, ecotoxicology and biodegradation. The specific requirements for each OSCA are outlined in the National Plan Policy on the Register of Oil Spill Control Agents for maritime response use. 

This guideline sets out a best practice process for recommending and obtaining approval (normally from an Incident Controller) to use an oil spill control agent (OSCA) during a response. It assists in answering the questions: 

  • Need – Is an OSCA required? Will it assist? Is there a benefit?
  • Information – What information is required for approval?
  • Engagement – Who else needs to be involved in any discussion and/or recommendation?
  • Consent – Who else might need to approve or consent to the use? Are other consents or approvals required from other local authorities or regulators?
  • Recording – How should the decision-making process be recorded?

It is intended to support rapid, well-informed, and well-documented decision-making.

Last Updated: 

4 December 2020