THE SECOND oil spill is now five kilometres from Rayong shore while the Marine Department has filed an additional charge against Star Petroleum Refining Plc (SPRC) for violating an order to suspend the use of the port leading to marine pollution, Amarin TV said today (Feb. 11).
This second spillage of 5,000 litres of oil yesterday occurred at the same spot where an undersea pipeline had leaked 400,000 litres of crude on Jan. 25. SPRC staff had raised the damaged pipe for inspection but found that some oil was still left within it, with this amount leaking into the sea.
Rayong governor Mr. Channa Iamsaeng came to follow up on the situation and at Sabai Sabai Resort Village, Mae Ramphueng Beach, said officials are working to control the new oil slicks which are five kilometres away from the shore.
He added that he was dismayed at the repeat accident and that legal action will be taken against the company.
He criticised the company for not carefully planning this sort of an action with an apology no longer being enough as people would not accept it.
At the same time the Marine Department’s Deputy Director-General Mr. Phuriphat Teerakunphisuth ordered the provincial office to issue an announcement for all vessels to be careful when navigating through this area and also file a complaint at Map Ta Phut police station against the company for violating an order to suspend usage of the port and causing marine pollution.
The department also sent a letter notifying the company to implement Tier 1 incident response plan for spillage volume of up to 20 tonnes, with this usually occurring when loading and unloading oil.
SPRC notified the authorities it has made preparations to clean up should oil slicks spread widely. It has already surrounded the oil slicks with booms and sent in boats with the Marine Department also sending patrol boats for supportive action and inspection.
SPRC said it has now been able to control the spill and is getting ready to implement rehabilitation measures after further assessing the damage to the environment.
However reporters said that at 3 p.m. today preparations were underway to pitch tents and bring in a forklift truck as well as other equipment at Khlong Hua Car, which is the point where oil slicks swept ashore last time, with soldiers to move in and clean the beaches as soon as the oil washes up.
Top: A large boat and a helicopter battling the new spill today, top, while the cleanup crew moves to the beach, Home Page. The Thai headline says, “5 kilometres away from the coast.” Photos: Amarin TV