The crude oil spill situation is still a major concern today, January 30th, as the oil leaking continued to wash ashore and contaminate the coastline on tourist beaches in the Rayong province.
Athapol Charoenshunsa, Director General of the Pollution Control Department (PCD), revealed to the Associated Press this morning that the dense oil contamination from a pipe leak from the Star Petroleum Refining Public Company Limited on Tuesday had gradually swept towards 51 square kilometers of Ao Prao Beach in Koh Samet, according to the satellite imagery survey.
The PCD, the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation had now joined the relevant authorities to manage and contain the leak in the middle of the sea as well as install buoys to potentially protect coral and marine lives on the island.
Rayong Deputy Governor Anan Nakniyom announced the progress on the authorities’ leak management this afternoon that the removal of the mass stain oil in the sea is still a problem as the stain did not fully dissolve into the seabottom as planned after spraying and, on the contrary, the stain spread more widely which would make the process more difficult.
The Deputy Governor said: “All related departments were doing their best to eliminate the oil stain remaining at sea before they could reach the coast. Several navy ships and a number of aircraft were also deployed to contain the spill with equipment and dispersant spray.”
“For the spill that washed ashore at Mae Ramphueng beach, absorbent papers were placed 3 kilometers along the coastline to remove the oil stains. The Navy and related staff were also deployed to monitor and remove the stains for 24 hours.”
The authorities did not specify the period of time to complete all of the removal processes, only stating that they were doing their full potential with sufficient forces to restore the environmental attractions.
Meanwhile, more than 100 local vendors and fishermen arrived at the Mae Ramphueng beach today to follow up on the process. They told local media that they did not agree with the authorities’ action to dissolve the oil into the seabottom as it would significantly affect the marine ecosystem, similar to what had already happened in an 2013 oil spill incident which resulted in an environmental impact for 10 years.
They also gathered at the Sala Ruam Jai following rumors that the provincial authorities would close the beach for restoration and there would be financial remedies distributed for all affected who registered. However, the statement was later claimed to be untrue.
So far, no official financial remedy has been announced for those affected.
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