The Gulf state Oman is toughening up its act to stop the illegal dumping
of crude oil waste in its waters by building new oily waste reception facilities and fining offenders who illegally discharge oil. Oman's Environment Ministry has stated that they will build three new reception facilities for oily waste before the end of this year. The facilities are to be situated in Muscat, the southern port of Salalah and in the northern city of Sohar. Passing tankers will be encouraged to offload their waste at one of these facilities. The penalty for being caught illegally discharging waste is to be set at USD 1mill by the State of Oman .
INTERTANKO has worked closely with the relevant UN agencies in the ROPME Sea Area to increase the number of reception facilities available for tankers and as such welcomes this action by Oman. It is hoped that further States within the ROPME Sea Area will follow this initiative and begin work on the development of reception facilities.
Oman is also planning to ban tanker traffic from a zone stretching from Yemen's border to the Gulf of Oman to protect local ecology. INTERTANKO is corresponding with ROPME (Regional Organisation for the Protection of the Marine Environment) regarding the exact delimitation of the no-go zone and will report with further details. This move by Oman comes following growing concern that oil pollution
in the area may be detrimental to both the coastal environment and the expanding tourist industry.