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Practice makes perfect for Oil Spills team.

Today (4 July) the Essex coastline is a disaster zone with 20 tonnes of oil threatening the shore. The Port of London Authority (PLA) is co-ordinating a massive joint exercise with the Thurrock Borough Council to test their Emergency response to major oil spills in the Thames.

The PLA employs a special team dedicated to dealing with accidents involving oil for the Thames Oil Spill Clearance Association that is funded by all the oil product companies on the Thames.

All the emergency services will be playing their part. The location of the spill will be upstream of Canvey Island and the response team will be required to deal with several tonnes of oil from a ship that collided with a jetty in the early morning.

Said Dr. Steven Taylor the PLA Marine Emergency Planning Officer," Oil pollution is one of the main concerns for a busy Port and it is our duty to maintain an efficient plan to deal with any pollution incident. There are several aspects that need to be addressed today, protecting the locality, mobilising clean-up squads, arranging for oil collection and perhaps most importantly preventing the spread of oil away from the scene of the accident."

The PLA conducts emergency exercises with the port community on a regular basis in various parts of the tidal Thames.