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External emergency response plans: best practices and suggested guidelines

Article 29 of the Offshore Safety Directive 2013/30/EU (OSD) requires Member States to prepare external emergency response plans (EERPs) covering all offshore oil and gas installations or connected infrastructure and potentially affected areas in their jurisdiction. The Directive requires preparation of EERPs in compliance with Annex VII and VIII and their availability to the Commission, Member States and the public. Member states are thus in charge of fulfillment of Article 29 requirements for the preparation of EERPs. In a number of cases the requirements of Article 29 are reflected (or partly reflected) in the existing national operational procedures and plans in place, such as National Contingency Plans, Marine Pollution Response Plans, Search and Rescue Plans, etc. However, such plans sometimes do not address the offshore sector explicitly but deal partially with the issue. Moreover, this approach may lead to unclear overall management schemes and lack of clear responsibility. This document provides an overview of best practices of MSs operational plans in place which are relevant to the offshore emergency response (Section 2) and proposes a scheme to provide Member States with suggested guidelines to assist them in the preparation, implementation and revision of their national external emergency response plans (Section 3). Information on the parties involved in emergency response is provided in Annex 2 to this report. This work does not evaluate the technical solutions for every emergency scenario adopted in each Member State but rather on the expected content of EERP and the methodological approach. Compliance with existing plans with the Directive is summarized in a different document .