HMA Maritime Environmental Emergencies

Find out about the roles of WA's Hazard Management Agency for marine environmental emergencies, the Maritime Environmental Emergency Response (MEER) unit and the State Response Team.

  Maritime Environmental Emergency Response (MEER)

The Department of Transport is the Hazard Management Agency for marine oil pollution incidents and maritime transport emergencies in Western Australian waters.

Our Maritime Environmental Emergency Response (MEER) unit protects our marine environment from oil pollution through:

  • Prevention.
  • Preparation.
  • Response.
  • Recovery.

The MEER's role is to:

  • Develop marine oil spill response capabilities.
  • Provide resources and support during response operations.
  • Maintain equipment to enable an effective response.
  • Develop and deliver appropriate training programs.
  • Assist ports and industry in developing marine oil spill contingency plans.
  • Provide 24-hour on-call support for marine oil spills.
  • Develop national networks to ensure WA is up to date with oil spill response techniques.
  • Maintain the Oil Spill Response Atlas (OSRA).
  • Raise community awareness about the impact of marine oil spills.

In order to pursue these aims, the MEER works closely with Commonwealth, State, local and private sector bodies.

  Maritime Incident Management Team

In readiness for a Maritime Environmental Emergency (MEE) incident, the Department of Transport maintains a pool of Maritime Incident Management Team (MIMT) members, trained and ready to contribute to an Incident Management Team (IMT) as required. 

The Maritime Incident Management Team (MIMT) comprises of differing incident management functions, units and specific roles based on the Australasian Interagency Incident Management System (AIIMS) to form an Incident Management Team (IMT). 

For each specific incident the exact functions and units that will be required to form an appropriate Incident Management Team (IMT) will be determined by the Incident Controller and Functional Leads, dependent on the situation and requirements at hand. 

Members of the MIMT are drawn from organisations with interests and responsibilities regarding marine oil pollution, including: 

  • Government agencies.
  • Port authorities.
  • Industry.

The MIMT was created out of the State Government's commitment to effective preparedness and response to marine pollution incidents.

  State Response Team

The Metropolitan State Response Team (SRT) is made up of front line marine oil pollution responders who provide guidance to other responders. In the event of a major incident, SRT members have the qualifications to effectively take on the role of team leader.

Members of the SRT are drawn from organisation with interests and responsibilities regarding marine oil pollution, including:

  • Government agencies.
  • Port authorities.
  • Industry.

The SRT was created out of the State Government's commitment to effective preparedness and response to marine pollution incidents.

Safety Management System (SMS)

Maritime Environmental Emergency Responseís (MEER) Safety Management System (SMS) ensures the safety of personnel and responders who are conducting work in preparation for a Maritime Environmental Emergency (MEE) or during an actual MEE incident that is under the direct control of the Department of Transport (DoT). MEE incidents include the occurrence of both Marine Oil Pollution (MOP) and Marine Transport Emergencies (MTE).

All personnel and responders (including permanent, contracted or volunteers) must adhere to the MEER SMS both in attendance at a MEE incident or during preparation for a MEE Incident (e.g. exercises, maintenance activities, and training) when it is being coordinated or controlled by DoT MEER.

The following are the five underpinning rules of safety in Maritime Environmental Emergency Response that reinforce the Departments SMS framework and must always be obeyed:

  1. Wear the right PPE (reference: SMS, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and Safe Work Practice (SWP)
  2. Ensure personnel decontamination and first aid capacity
  3. Check equipment is serviceable prior to deployment
  4. Follow relevant SMS, SOPís, SWPís and SDSís
  5. Responders must be appropriately trained, certified, and qualified

As part of these five underpinning rules, minimum Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements exist, and PPE will be worn to minimise exposure to hazards that can cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. Minimum qualification requirements also exist for certain roles/positions and the operation of certain equipment. This is also supported by minimum requirements outlined in Safe Work Practices and Standard Operating Procedures that must be adhered to as part of the MEER SMS.

PPE must be worn where there is a risk of injury, including protection for the head, eyes, hearing, respiratory system, skin, hand, and feet.  PPE may include but is not limited to items such as gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests, and full body suits.

DoT personnel who are responding to a MEE Incident in support of another controlling agency or coordinating entity, will adhere to that organisationís SMS requirements however will also at a minimum still apply the personal safety standards and controls as outlined in the MEER SMS. Likewise, for other agency or organisation personnel who are responding to a MEE Incident coordinated or controlled by DoT, although they are required to adhere to the MEER SMS at a minimum, it does not preclude them from also adhering to additional minimum personal safety standards and controls as required from their own agency or organisation.

Further information regarding the MEER SMS, such as SWPís, SOPís, Equipment Operation Procedures, Response Standards, Qualification Requirements, and minimum PPE requirements will be provided as part of any MEE incident or preparation activity induction or instructions.

  State Response Equipment (SRE)

The Department of Transport's State Response Equipment (SRE) comprises stockpiles of Oil Spill Response Equipment, in the form of Response Kits, General Equipment and Response Supplies. These stockpiles are positioned and designed to respond to an actual or impending Level 2/3 Maritime Environmental Emergency (MEE) across WA at short notice. They differ from equipment held by DoT to meet response preparedness requirements for specific maritime facilities. SRE is exclusively managed by the Maritime Environmental Emergency Response (MEER) Team.

Non-MEER Entities can request to use State Response Equipment for an incident by contacting the Department at marine.pollution@transport.wa.gov.au, noting urgent requests for the use of the Equipment for an incident can be made by contacting the Departments 24 hr contact number - see Reporting marine oil pollution

Page last updated: Tue Dec 6 2022 1:47:08 PM