In order to further prevent any damage to the surrounding environment of the terminal, a range of statutory monitoring also takes place. Ballast water discharge from the tankers and jetties; in addition to gaseous emissions from the power station and flares have been measured since the terminal first became operational in 1978. This is in compliance with all appropriate regional legislative requirements.
As a result of the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) regulations enactment (as of 1999), the terminal operator must submit a safety report to the Competent Authority (jointly Health & Safety Executive and Scottish Environment Protection Agency [SEPA]) as a safety precaution. It states in detail when and where major accidents affecting people or the environment could occur and how these are prevented and mitigated against. Most importantly, the report includes the response and recovery processes in place, should an accident occur. The Sullom Voe Safety Report is reviewed regularly and rewritten as necessary every five years.
Since 1978, monitoring of the seabed (physical, chemical and biological) has also been undertaken at the effluent outfall diffuser in Yell Sound, effluent discharge over the last decade has significantly reduced along with North Sea oil. Chemical monitoring results show that hydrocarbon levels in the seabed sediment are now below pre-operational levels.
Throughout SOTEAG’s monitoring history, all statutory monitoring results have been compared with those of the SOTEAG Monitoring Committee in the wider geographical area. This exchange of information is regarded as extremely valuable by the terminal operator, SEPA, the statutory monitoring contractor and SOTEAG.