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Criterion 28. Emergency plans to cope with pollution risks must be in place.
The emergency plan should cover a clearly identified procedure, facilitating efficiency in the case
of an emergency. An emergency could result from oil spills, hazardous/toxic waste spills entering
the beach from the sea, discharge of storm water, hurricanes, algal blooms that could be
In order to quickly address pollution at the local level in co-ordination with local authorities, the
following should be included. The:
- identification of people to contact in case of pollution.
- involvement of all administration services and people necessary to intervene.
- procedure for the protection or evacuation of people if necessary.
- procedure of public warning and information.
- withdrawal of the Blue Flag.
The emergency plan must specify who should be contacted in the case of a pollution incident. A
responsible local person must be designated for this position. It must also specify who does what
in the case of an emergency, including pollution incidents.
The emergency plan must furthermore prove the compliance with other national legislation in the
e.g. a national oil spill contingency plan.
As long as the hazard persists, the public should be informed of the pollution or potential danger
by posting information at the beach, at all access points, in the media, tourist offices or other
relevant means of communication. If the hazard is in the form of polluted water then the public
must be informed that bathing is not safe and the beach should be closed to swimming. If there is
any infringement of Blue Flag criteria, e.g. sewage pollution, and to ensure the integrity of the
Blue Flag, the flag must be temporarily withdrawn and information posted on the Blue Flag
information board or at the beach.
Emergency phone numbers for the police, first aid, and relevant emergency numbers along with
the contact details for emergency services, in the event of an oil or toxic chemical spill must be
posted at the beach preferably on the Blue Flag information board.