The Svalbard Environmental Protection Act covers a number of environmental laws that apply on the mainland. For environmental preparedness (acute pollution), the Norwegian Coastal Administration has largely the same tasks on Svalbard as on the mainland.
However, some adjustments have been made on the basis of large distances, few emergency preparedness resources and a small population with few private actors.
NCA works closely with the Governor of Svalbard, Longyearbyen local council and the major private actors in the archipelago. The Governor is responsible for the first response in the event of an accident (the Coastal Administration at Bjørnøya), but will usually have to receive assistance from the NCA, as well as NCA taking over the leading of the operation. NCA will provide practical assistance in the operation and establish an advanced action management in Longyearbyen.
NCA's oil spill response depot in Longyearbyen is operated in collaboration with the Governor's emergency depot. The private companies provide response personnel based on the size of the companies. These are made available free of charge to the NCA for exercises and actions. In return, companies can use the oil spill response equipment when needed if their own company should cause acute pollution.
NCA has had several actions and major exercises on Svalbard. Limited access to resources, large distances, climate challenges, polar bear danger, lack of communication opportunities and requirements for Arctic adapted and tested equipment mean that we are constantly improving preparedness and have plans for how it can be even better. We have in fact restrictions related to storage capacity on Svalbard and our own action premises up there. We are planning a state emergency center in collaboration with the Governor.