Cardiff Metropolitan University’s International Training Centre (ITC) has played a critical role in preparing for and responding to maritime spillages in European waters, through participation in the Atlantic Regions Coastal Pollution Response (ARCOPOL) project.
Based in the Cardiff School of Health Sciences (CSHS), the ITC delivers and develops training and continuing professional education for environmental public health practitioners across the globe.
Funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the ARCOPOL project began in 2009 and is a partnership between several key European organisations and universities. The UK is represented by the Centre for Radiation, Chemicals and Environmental Hazards (Wales) (CRCE Wales), which is part of Public Health England (PHE) and based at Cardiff Metropolitan University, and Pembrokeshire County Council.
ARCOPOL has worked to enhance multi-agency and -disciplinary emergency planning and preparedness for maritime incidents involving the release of hazardous and noxious chemicals. Through this work, ARCOPOL has built capacity and resilience for dealing with such incidents as a basis for subsequent timely, efficient and effective emergency response, thereby protecting both the environment and human health.
CRCE Wales, in conjunction with Cardiff Met’s ITC, has developed bespoke computer software and e-learning materials to support this work. This includes web based software to prioritise hazards and risk from the transport of hazardous and noxious substances based on their behaviour in the environment, human health impact and the quantities and frequency shipped. The tool allows users to prioritise the risks of greatest concern within their local and national emergency plans thereby improving co-ordinated responses.
The ‘Management of Maritime Shoreline Incident Response’ e-learning materials provide an overview of chemical incidents; the potential health and environmental consequences of shoreline incidents; how risks can be reduced through co-ordinated planning and preparedness; and the impact mitigated through effective response.
Speaking about the work carried out between CRCE Wales and Cardiff Met, Professor David Russell said:
“On World Maritime Day, it is important to note that maritime transport is quantitatively the most important means of chemical transport, this is an extremely important area economically, ecologically, environmentally and also for human health and well-being.
“Cardiff Met’s International Training Centre was able to offer the ARCOPOL project unique expertise that has enabled us to develop unique software and innovative e-learning materials. In turn, these materials help authorities across Europe plan and prepare for a wide range of eventualities both at sea and port.”
Associate Dean (Enterprise), at Cardiff School of Health Sciences, Peter Sykes said:
“The International Training Centre was delighted to work with the Centre for Radiation, Chemicals and Environmental Hazards and utilise expertise from the School of Health Science and Management.
“As a centre of excellence, it is especially pleasing to see that we have contributed to building capacity for increasing the planning and preparedness for maritime incidents.”
Notes to Editors
ARCOPOL is a pan-European project and funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Further information and all resources can be obtained via www.arcopol.eu
ARCOPOL is a partnership between CETMAR, INTECMAR, The Universities of Vigo and Cadiz and the Andalucian and Galician regions, IST and CIIMAR, The National Maritime College of Ireland (HALPIN) and Maritime Ireland, EIGSI and CRPM; the UK is represented by the Centre for Radiation, Chemicals and Environmental Hazards Wales (part of Public Health England (PHE) and based at Cardiff Metropolitan University) and Pembrokeshire County Council.
CETMAR - Centro de Estudios Tecnológicos del Mar
INTECMAR – Technological Institute for the Marine Environment Monitoring of Galicia
CIIMAR - Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (Porto)
IST - Instituto Superior Técnico (Lisbon)
EIGIS - École D’ingénieurs en Génie des Systèmes Industriels de La Rochelle (France)
CRPM - Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe
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