A Scottish Parliamentary debate on controversial proposals for ship-to-ship oil transfers in the dolphin-friendly Cromarty Firth has been rescheduled for next month.
It was previously deferred due to the suspension of parliamentary business following the terrorist attack on London’s Westminster Bridge. It will now be held on May 2.
Campaigners opposed to the Port of Cromarty Firth’s proposed licence application warned MSPs last month of “an environmental disaster waiting to happen.”
The Cromarty Rising protest group has already given evidence to Holyrood’s petitions committee in the hope the Scottish Government could ensure environmental legislation in Scotland to bar such crude oil movements at sensitive locations. Oil transfers are not a devolved matter, however.
A spokeswoman for the port authority said: “We’re acting in the interests of the majority of our stakeholders but we understand some people are against our application. They have the right to show their feelings by protesting.
“As the statutory harbour authority, we have a legal obligation to protect the environment of the Cromarty Firth.”
Port officials expect to submit a revised licence application to the UK Government’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency later this year and have promised to consult the community on the document.
A petition opposing the licence application attracted 100,000 signatures.