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1.1 6 May 2006 C.P.34 (Thailand)
The Alliance Refining Company Limited (ARC) was removing more than 15,000 litres of fuel oil spillage in the sea in front of Rayong port today. The oil spill leaked from product tanker C.P.34 (1892 gt, built 1983), owned by C & P Company Limited, on Thursday as the oil was loaded into the tanker. Surachai Burapanonthachai, an official from the Marine Department, said the oil film already affected other nearby ports used by other companies. He said ARC officials were trying to remove all the oil spillage from an area in front of the ports by tomorrow. He said Marine Department’s officials also helped in the cleaning operations. “So far, rain may delay the process,” he added.
More than 20 tonnes of bunker oil was spilled by product tanker C.P.34 near a refinery plant in the Map Ta Phut industrial estate on Thursday (May 4), causing serious environmental damage. Surachai Burapanontachai, the pier inspector from Rayong’s Marine Office, rushed to an oil refinery owned by the Alliance Refining Co Ltd (ARC) after being alerted by reports of the spill at 2030 Thursday. Darkness, however, prevented the authorities from undertaking a clean-up operation which did not begin until yesterday morning. The marine officials said the oil was spilled while it was being unloaded (? being loaded) by the C.P. 34 owned by the C&P Marine Co Ltd. The oil was to have been delivered to Bangkok for further refining. The office discovered a small crack on the ship’s oil tank. When the oil was filled, its sheer volume widened the crack sending over 20 tonnes of the oil gushing out. Mr Surachai said a floating boom was thrown around the slick to contain its spread. The slick was then scooped up for disposal with a dissolver chemical. He added the situation was under control and expected the disposal operation would not take long to complete. Parties responsible for the leak will be prosecuted for causing environmental harm and obstructing sea transport. The offenders face a maximum one-year prison term and/or a fine of up to baht 60,000.
7 May 2006Delaware Bay, United States
Tests have confirmed that oil spilled in the Delaware Bay late in April came from c.c. Bermuda Islander, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The 340-foot Netherlands-registered vessel, which transports container cargo from Salem to Bermuda, had been a “vessel of interest” as the probe into the spill began. A six-mile slick was first spotted floating on the upper bay early on April 25. Oil samples from the spill and the Bermuda Islander were sent to the Coast Guard Marine Safety Lab in Groton, Conn., for characteristic testing. Contracted workers have collected approximately 70 cubic yards of oily debris from the Delaware shoreline and approximately 200 gallons of product has been removed from the Delaware Bay by oil-skimming vessels. A total of 22 birds and one turtle have been reported to have had light oiling. There have been no reports of wildlife killed as a result of the spill, according to the Coast Guard. As a precautionary measure, about 70,400 acres of oyster beds in the Delaware Bay were shut down following the spill but reopened for harvests on May 2. Some of the oil washed ashore in Delaware and some tar balls were found on the New Jersey side of the bay at Gandy’s Beach in Cumberland County, officials said.
19 May 2006 New Carissa (Panama)
A proposed settlement to end an appeal of a $25 million jury award against the owners of wood-chip carrier New Carissa will be considered next week by the Oregon State Land Board. New Carissa ran aground just offshore from Coos Bay in February 1999. Efforts to free the vessel failed and attempts to burn off its engine fuel broke it in half, spilling oil into the bay and its oyster beds. The bow was eventually towed to sea and scuttled with a torpedo from a Navy submarine. However, the stripped down remains of the stern are still stuck in the sand at a state beach on the North Spit of Coos Bay. In November 2004, a Coos County jury found the vessel’s owners guilty of negligent trespass and awarded the state $25 million to pay for removal. The $25 million award is, however, in an escrow account awaiting an appeal to the Oregon Court of Appeals by the owners. The land board will meet in executive session Tuesday (May 23) to discuss the settlement proposal, followed by a public session. If a settlement is reached, it will be offered as a motion followed by a vote, said Julie Curtis, board spokeswoman.
23 May 2006
Seven years after wood-chip carrier New Carissa ran aground on an Oregon beach, the legal battle over removal of the shipwreck has ended with a $22.1 million settlement. The Oregon State Land Board, headed by Gov. Ted Kulongoski, voted unanimously today to accept a proposal from the owners, Green Atlas Shipping Co., to end their appeal of a $25 million jury award in 2002. Now it will be up to the Legislative Emergency Board in September to approve removal of the rusting stern of the wood chip freighter, the last remaining chunk of a 660-foot vessel that broke apart in a nearly comical effort to drag it free in 1999. The New Carissa snapped in half during efforts to burn off its engine fuel, sending the fuel into Coos Bay and contaminating its oyster beds. Salvage crews battled fierce winter weather to tow the bow section to sea, but lost it when a cable snapped, sending it back to shore to cause more pollution. It was eventually towed back to sea and scuttled by a Navy torpedo. The stern, cut down to a skeleton, has sunk deep into the sand and rides the surf every day, posing a potential hazard at low tide when beachcombers can go right up to the hull. Kulongoski said he will urge the Emergency Board to approve $19 million earmarked under the settlement for removal of the stern. The remaining $3.1 million will pay for legal costs. Louise Solliday, director of the Department of State Lands, said the state will seek a contract contingent on Emergency Board approval so that salvage crews can plan to remove the vessel next year during the narrow window available in summer when weather and sea conditions will allow the dangerous work. There have been suggestions that the shipwreck be left alone as a potential tourist attraction. But the governor said he was concerned both about the potential liability for leaving the shipwreck in place much longer, and with sending a message to shipping companies that the state would not tolerate similar wrecks in the future
29 May 2006 Selendang Ayu (Malaysia)
Crews in Unalaska have resumed cleaning up oil residue from bulker Selendang Ayu, a freighter that spilled hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into waters off the Aleutian islands in 2004 after grounding during winter storms. State officials on Monday said they believe a hard summer of bagging tar balls and using backhoes to break up larger coats of oil will bring operations to a close. “Things are actually going pretty well, but there’s still some work to be done,” said Gary Folley an on-scene coordinator for the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Selendang Ayu was carrying 60,000 tons of soybeans from Tacoma, Wash., to China when it encountered engine trouble and grounded off Unalaska, the hub of a prolific commercial fishery about 800 miles south-west of Anchorage. More than 335,700 gallons of oil and diesel and tons of soybeans spilled from the ship after it split in half on a rocky shelf. The state team arrived on Unalaska on May 15 to start surveying 6.5 miles of beach that did not pass an assessment test during the state’s last visit in September. Folley on Monday said about two more miles of beach still need to be cleaned, while the rest no longer need treatment. Waves and storm surges over the winter washed away much of the oil, or broke it into small particles that will eventually dissipate, Folley said in a phone interview from Unalaska. A crew of 22, mostly local residents, is involved in the shoreline clean-up work, said Unalaska Mayor Shirley Marquardt. On most beaches, they are using shovels, rakes and other hand tools to collect oil attached to seaweed or vegetation. Beaches with more oil will be tilled with a backhoe to break up the oil and make it easier for waves to wash it away, Folley said. Some beaches are being left alone because state officials anticipate wave action will scour them clean. Others are considered too dangerous for clean-up crews to access. Marquardt said the community has not noticed any negative effects from the spill in the last year. “Oddly enough it’s as if it never happened,” she said. “It could have been so much worse with different tides and currents. We don’t feel lucky that it happened, but we realise we dodged a pretty big one.” The state has approved a wreck removal plan from Magone Marine Service, Inc., based in Dutch Harbor, to continue salvage operations this summer on the 738-foot vessel. The company is waiting for an extended forecast of good weather before beginning. Selendang Ayu’s owner last summer had proposed leaving the wreckage to break up and settle in the Bering Sea. The plan, which was rejected by the state, would have saved the company a significant amount of money. No health problems have been reported from people consuming seafood harvested in the vicinity of the spill. However, more than 1,600 birds and six sea otters were found dead after the spill. The state team will retest shellfish, such as clams and chitons, to make sure they are safe for humans to eat. In April, the state said mussels and other shellfish collected last summer from the grounding site are safe for human consumption. Singapore-based IMC Group, which owns Selendang Ayu, is responsible under state law for fully funding the clean-up and has paid about $100 million to efforts so far. The DEC is still working with the Department of Law on possible civil penalties for IMC, Folley said. Selendang Ayu grounded and broke apart Dec 8, 2004. A Coast Guard helicopter carrying crew members from the tanker crashed during rescue operations, and six of the 10 freighter crew on board died. The Coast Guard personnel survived.
16 June 2006
Divers with underwater cutting torches and a crane operator on a barge are dismantling the tilted wreckage of bulker Selendang Ayu as the salvage operation off Unalaska Island moves into the final phase. Salvage crews may need two more months to cut up and haul off what remains of the vessel, at least what is above the surface, said Leslie Pearson, spill response program manager for the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The sea will claim the rest. Removing as much as possible will reduce the chances of the wreckage breaking apart and washing ashore, Pearson said. The vessel was hauling about 66,000 tons of soybeans from Washington state to China when it lost power on the north side of the island in December, 2004. It drifted for two days, then broke in half after grounding off Skan Bay in a Bering Sea storm, the bow section crumbling and disappearing below the surface of the water. An estimated 335,000 gallons of fuel oil and marine diesel spilled from the vessel along with the soybeans, fouling beaches in Makushin and Skan bays. Workers cleaning oil off the last six miles should be done in less than two weeks, said Gary Folley, state on scene co-ordinator. The state may seek a settlement before it pursues a civil lawsuit for damages, he said. The vessel’s owner, Singapore-based IMC shipping, has paid about $100 million for the clean-up so far. Three beaches will not be cleaned now because they are too steep and difficult to access, Pearson said, but the state has asked the vessel’s owner for a monitoring plan. If the oil is not cleaned naturally in a few years, she said, the company may be asked to clean up those areas too. The vessel’s stern section sat partially above water until last October, when that part also split in two during a storm. Much of it sank, and the pieces litter the floor as if a building imploded, said Unalaska salvage expert Dan Magone. The aft end of the vessel, however, drifted several hundred feet before coming to rest in 30 feet of water near the tip of Spray Cape, Magone said. It is wedged in boulders about 750 feet from shore, he said. With the rusty deck listing 45 deg, 80 feet of the exhaust stack and engine room were above the surface, he said. That was the work site for a 17-person crew with Magone Marine Service Inc. that began stripping the wreck in 20-ton pieces two weeks ago. Divers are still cutting away bulkheads and the engine room, Magone said. The scraps will be lifted onto a barge and transported to Seattle. Several 26-ton hatch covers that floated to the beach must also be cleared away. The only salvageable part of the vessel left at that point will be the last of the hull beneath the engine housing. Magone Marine is pursuing the contract to remove that, Magone said.
1 June 2006 Ocean Seraya (Panama)
Hectic efforts to arrest the spread of the oil spilling from bulker Ocean Seraya off Karwar’s coast have met with mixed success, with some oil having reached the Devbagh shore. Besides the spraying of chemicals from helicopters by the Goa Coast Guard, officials and experts visited the ship to assess the damage and mobilised municipal workers, NGOs, NCC cadets and companies to curb the spread of oil. While officials in Goa fear that the oil spill is moving towards Goa due to the westerly waves, Manoj Badkar, Commandant of Karnataka Coast Guard insisted that the Goa coast was “free of the oil spill”. “We have confirmed with authorities in Goa that the oil spill has not reached there (Goa) yet. Regular spraying of chemicals has controlled the spread of the spill,” Commandant Badkar said. Addressing a press conference this evening, Karwar Deputy Commissioner Ritesh Kumar Singh said that the oil spill was being contained by spraying of OSD chemicals to disintegrate it. “Four experts who were flown in by a helicopter visited the ship at 1600 this evening. Tomorrow, an eight member team will visit the site again,” Mr Singh added. Salvage ship “Mahor” has reached the Karwar port and will commence operations to empty the oil tanks of Ocean Seraya starting Saturday. A team of six deep sea divers of the Under Water Service Company from Navi Mumbai have reached Karwar to inspect Ocean Seraya. Speaking to Herald, a member of the team said they would cordon the ship with a steel plate and a rubber sheet. “Later, the salvage ship will remove the water from the engine-room and transfer the oil from its tank,” the diver said. “The New Manglore Port Trust and MRPL Manglore are also supplying equipment required for the operation,” said Mr Singh. In addition, two Goa Coast Guard helicopters are regularly spraying chemicals to control the oil, while two truckloads of coir, to be brought from Kumta, will be spread on the shores of Tagore Beach and Devbagh. Despite these efforts, the oil, however, found its way to Devbagh and has mixed with the sand on the shore. Municipality workers along with NGO’s and NCC cadets were deployed at Devbagh Beach to remove the oil. “They, however, had to return due to heavy rain,” Mr Singh said. “The same work will now be carried out only after the oil spill is totally controlled by offloading the oil from the ship.” He has warned the people of Karwar and Devbagh to keep away from Devbagh and Tagore beach, since the furnace oil mixed in salty water could cause skin diseases. Mr Singh also requested fishermen to avoid fishing in these areas.
2 June 2006
Bulker Ocean Seraya, stranded off-Karwar coast near Devgad Island, broke into two pieces Friday afternoon (Jun 2). The oil which had began spilling from the vessel a couple of days ago today touched the south Goan beaches, triggering an alarm in the tiny Goa, on the tourism front. “The ship has broken into two pieces. But there is nothing to worry as the portion with the tank has parted into entire a separate piece,” confirmed commander R M Sharma, deputy inspector general, Indian coast guard. The vessel has been stranded in the rocks near Devgadh island since Monday night (May 29) when it drifted towards the island on account of rough weather. All 21 crew members, except one, were rescued safely by the coast guard. Even as the Indian coast guard helicopter, an aircraft and a vessel continued their operation to contain oil spill, riding on the westerly waves, the spill touched the Goan shores after hitting Karwar and Deobag coast. “The spill has touched Polem beach on Goa-Karnataka border but the quantity is marginal,” Comdt Sharma said, ruling out the possibility of the spill running further down the coast. The Indian coast guard would continue their operations on Saturday to disintegrate the spill further. In the meantime, the Karwar port authorities and district administration have laid booms around one kilometres surrounding the wrecked vessel to contain the spill. “Various locally available material like coir fibre, palm tree leaves and others are used to control the spill from travelling further,” the officials stated.
4 June 2006
Deputy Commissioner Ritesh Kumar Singh has said that the operation to remove fuel from bulker Ocean Seraya that ran aground off the Karwar coast and subsequently broke into two, would begin today. The company in charge of managing the ship was pressured to expedite the salvage operation. Fifteen experts would be engaged in the operation, he said. The pumping equipment for the purpose had arrived from Bangalore. Coast Guard Commander I. G. Rajashekaran visited the town yesterday and made arrangements for providing an inflatable barge of 200 tonne capacity to help the operation. A Dornier aircraft of the Coast Guard sprayed oil-spill dispersant around the ship yesterday. Mr. Singh said a sample test carried out had shown that oil content in the seawater was 20 mg a litre, whereas it was 9,000 mg a kg in the sand on the beach.
4 June 2006
Though oil spilled from a bulker Ocean Seraya, stranded off the Karwar coast in Karnataka, has been largely contained, salvors are unable to empty the remaining tank, which has led to the possibility of another spill in the sea. “Around 60 per cent of oil onboard the Ocean Seraya is yet to be emptied and if tanks break away and oil flows into water, it would be a major hazard”, Commander RM Sharma, deputy inspector general, Indian Coast Guard, said. Karwar authorities have given a deadline of today for the private salvers to initiate operation to empty the tanks. “Salvers visited the vessel yesterday but could not start the operation as they required more equipment to pump out the oil”, a district administration official stated.
5 June 2006
Bulker Ocean Seraya was wrecked on the Oyster Rock lighthouse in the Arabian Sea off Karnataka state’s Karwar coast on May 30. The vessel split into two and its front portion keeps crashing into the rear portion, which is wedged against a rock. Stormy weather has delayed a 15-member team of expert divers and engineers from western Mumbai city and Singapore from launching emergency operations to pump out the oil on board, the Hindustan Times reported. Coast Guard officials estimated that 20 tons of oil had already spilled into the sea and that the oil slick was nine kilometres from the Karwar coast. Officials said the beaches and shoreline would be polluted if the spill is not checked.
5 June 2006
Owners and Managers of bulker Ocean Seraya, which dragged its anchor and grounded in a severe storm on the Karwar Coast, North Karnataka, Southern India, on Tuesday May 30, wish to provide the following update on the situation. Owners signed a LOF (Lloyds Open Form) shortly after the initial grounding with salvors, Smit Salvage. Smit are currently on site working with the local authorities on salvage and pollution control. The Managers report that, during the morning of Jun 2, the vessel sustained severe structural damage amidships due to its stranded position on the rocks and constant wave action. A small quantity of bunker fuel escaped from the bulk carrier following the initial grounding. Smit Salvage tug Merou is now on site are concentrating efforts on containing the spread of oil using booms and on extracting all oil and oily waste from the tanks to mitigate any further pollution. Work is currently under way to pump fuel oil from Bunker Tank No 1 & No 2 into the tanks on the salvage tug. Owners and salvors are optimistic that any further escape of bunker fuel, diesel or oily waste will be minimal and are currently working with the local Coast Guard to implement the anti pollution and salvage plans. Pollution expert scientists from ITOPF have also been engaged by the owners to assist with local pollution issues. There have been some press reports describing pollution affecting two beaches (Tagore Beach, Karwar; and Devbagh beach, North of Karwar). The authorities now report no sign of oil pollution on the Tagore Beach, Karwar (requiring no clean-up), and only some slight oil contamination on the Devbagh beach. During a joint inspection both ITOPF and local authorities agreed that the level of contamination on the Devbagh beach was far less than had previously been reported and that a minimal level of clean-up will be required. It appears that naturally occurring deposits of black mineral particles (black sand) may have been confused with oil contamination, prompting inaccurate reporting of oil pollution. Owners and Managers wish to thank all those involved in the demanding rescue operation, carried out under difficult circumstances on May 30. Their thoughts, in particular, are with the family and friends of the Second Officer who remains missing; however search and rescue operations are ongoing and every effort is being made to find him. Owners and Managers also wish to thank all the Authorities, particularly the Goa and Karnataka Coast Guards, who are handling this incident in a sensitive and professional manner and who are working together with Owners to mitigate the effect of this unfortunate incident. At the time of the incident, the Ocean Seraya was in ballast and was anchored some 2.5 miles from Karwar Harbour, when a severe storm caused the vessel to break free and subsequently founder on the nearby coastline.
7 June 2006
Deputy Commissioner Ritesh Kumar Singh has expressed concern over the delay in carrying out operations to salve bulker Ocean Seraya. He said yesterday that salvage operations could not be carried out yesterday because the sea was turbulent. Three tanks in the front portion of the ship carried 150 tonnes of oil each. But it had become difficult to insert pipes into the tanks to pump out oil. Hex blades should be used to cut open the tanks and insert the pipes, he said. The three tanks in the rear portion of the ship, carrying 126 tonnes of oil, were found breached yesterday. Oil from the tanks had accumulated in the cargo hold. Experts had said that skimming operations had to be carried out to pump out the oil, Mr. Singh said. Salvage operation was a slow process and it would take at least 15 days to complete it. Eight more salvage experts were expected to arrive by today, he added. Mr. Singh and Manoj Baadkar, commandant of Coast Guard, said the possibility of ship sinking could not be ruled out if the weather condition worsened.
8 June 2006
An oil slick from bulker Ocean Seraya, which sank off the India’s western coast, is threatening to pollute popular tourist beaches in Goa, environmentalists said. Oil patches have begun washing up on the beaches after the vessel broke in two on Monday (Jun 5), a week after it ran aground about five km off the Karwar coast of neighbouring Karnataka. A nine-km wide oil slick is spreading northwards towards Goa, pushed by strong winds and choppy seas due to the monsoons. “Nothing has been done, I would say. The slick has impacted marine life because usually the worst happens in the first two days,” said Ramapati Kumar, spokesman for Greenpeace. Officials played down the risk to wildlife or the beaches, which are popular with foreigners, but environmentalists said a serious threat remained as not all of the vessel’s 690 tonnes of fuel had been pumped out. As much as half may have already spilled from the vessel. “It is not a very thick spill. We do not see any fresh spill now,” said KBL Bhatnagar, a coast guard official. “The slick has been neutralised as of now, but a threat remains because the vessel’s fuel tanks are still inaccessible.” Newspaper and TV reports said the oil slick had affected Goa’s Polem beach and was heading for the nearby Palolem beach, 70 km south of Panaji. Officials said 100 people were employed in a clean-up that involved spraying dispersants, cleaning beaches and would now focus on removing the remaining oil from the sinking vessel. Authorities have sought the help of a Singapore based company with expertise in cleaning up oil spills.
2 June 2006 Exxon Valdez (USA)
The Justice Department and Alaska have asked ExxonMobil to pay an additional $92 million to help repair damage caused by lingering oil that continues to sully Alaska’s Prince William Sound, where tanker Exxon Valdez spilt oil in 1989. Exxon has paid $900 million for damage caused by the spill, but the 1991 agreement settling claims allowed the state and federal governments to ask for up to $100 million more for damage that could not be foreseen at that time. The deadline for reopening the agreement is today. The oil is reducing survival rates of some marine species and disrupting fishing in the region, according to a joint statement yesterday by the Department of Justice and the state’s Department of Law. “After extensive review, it is clear that populations and habitat within the oil-spill area have suffered substantial and unanticipated injuries that are attributable to the Exxon Valdez oil spill,” said Alaska Attorney General David Marquez. Environmental groups, citing government reports, have said there are still 100 to 200 tons of oil in Prince William Sound, covering a total of six miles of shoreline. Exxon took issue with the governments’ request. “Exxon will study this request carefully. Nothing we have seen so far, however, indicates that this request for further funding from Exxon is justified,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. The company said the problem of lingering pockets of oil as anticipated in 1991: “Nothing surprising has occurred since 1991.” Exxon also noted that $145 million it has already paid has not been spent. Marquez said the remaining money has been earmarked, and the Justice Department said that in 1991 officials did not anticipate any oil would remain toxic so long. Alaska Sens. Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski sought to cut the process short by asking ExxonMobil last month to voluntarily commit $100 million more to restoring the Sound. The company rejected that proposal. The federal agencies and Alaska can file a claim against Exxon Mobil on Sept 1 if the company does not agree with the governments’ assessment. The claim is separate from an unresolved punitive-damage judgment of $4.5 billion against the company, which it is appealing.
9 June 2006 Brittany, France
Norwegian chemical tanker operator Seatrans has been hit by a second fine for the same pollution offence after failing to persuade a French court to drop proceedings following a conviction for the same offence in Norway. Seatrans, recently fined NKr2.8m ($414,000) in Norway for a pollution of fence involving its vessel combined chemical and oil tank Trans Arctic has been told to pay a further E400,000 ($468,000) by a court in Brest despite its lawyer’s plea that it should not be judged twice for the same offence. According to a local report the court overruled the public prosecutor, who pleaded in favour of dropping the case on the recommendation of the French Justice Ministry. The prosecutor was unavailable to confirm this yesterday. The court recognised the exceptional nature of the case by ordering payment of E50,000 and suspending payment of the remainder of the fine, but rejected the company’s plea that the French prosecution should be dropped al together following the Norwegian judgment. The case had already set a precedent last October when the trial of the master before a court in Brest was postponed a few days before it was due to open after a claim from Norway to exercise its prerogative as flag state to deal with it. The Norwegian move was attacked by French environmental organisations at the time as an attempt to circumvent the proceedings before the court in Brest, which has been the target of criticism from the shipping sector for the tough line it has taken in recent months in cases of pollution off the French Atlantic coast. Norway invoked the United Nations law of the sea convent ion signed in Montego Bay in 1982 to justify its action. A lawyer representing a French environmental association said after Wednesday’s (Jun 7) hearing in Brest, however: “The Montego Bay ghost ship has been sent to the bottom. Montego Bay only applies to the high sea. Marpol is what counts.” The court ruled that the fact the case had been tried in Norway did not prevent it proceeding in France as was the case for any other of fence committed within French jurisdiction. With regard to the Montego Bay convention, it noted that France was perfectly within its rights to legislate against pollution in its waters and to take proceedings against any party not respecting that legislation. It argued further, however, that the Montego Bay convention was a legal text creating obligations in inter- national public law between states and that an accused party had no right as such to claim to benefit from its provisions. Seatrans managing director Johan Hvide said yesterday that the company was waiting to study a translation of the court’s ruling before deciding whether to appeal. He admitted, however, that he had been “very surprised” by the court’s decision to prosecute for an offence which the company considered had already been dealt with by the most appropriate authority, namely the flag state. “It is a matter of principle for us,” he added. The 1991-built, 5,025 gt Trans Arctic was spotted from the air at the head of a 38 km long pollution slick off the port of La Rochelle on March 17, 2005. The court in Brest ordered the master of the Trans Artic to pay 10% of the E400,000 fine and also awarded damages ranging from E5,000 to E10,000 to eight environmental and other local organisations which had initiated civil proceedings against the vessel’s master and owners
22 June 2006 USA
CITGO is continuing containment and recovery efforts after 70,000 barrels of oil was released into the Calcasieu Ship Channel near the Clifton Ridge Terminal. CITGO says by 0430, yesterday, 15,000 barrels of oil had been contained. The Indian Mararis area has been secured with containment boom and vacuum trucks. Clean up operations continue on the east and west banks of the Calcasieu channel. “The total spill was approximately 70,000 barrels,” CITGO Lake Charles Vice President Randy Carbo said. “All of that was contained within our facility, except for an estimated 15,000 barrels. We anticipate it will be lower than that, but that’s our current estimate based on what’s been recovered today. ” According to Steve Wilkinson of the Department of Environmental Quality, CITGO calculations have the oil spill spreading from the CITGO docks south and west down the ship channel and north of Moss Lake. The USCG has closed traffic on the channel from light 112 to light 100, about three nautical miles. Captain Sharon Richey of the US Coast Guard expects the spill clean up will keep the ship channel closed. “At this point it’s very early in the response,” she said, “but it’s a very proactive response and as far as an estimate to have it cleaned up, we’re really looking at having the channel closed for several days at this point.” Monday’s (Jun 19) heavy rainfall and partial flooding which overwhelmed the company’s waste water storage tank area and dikes. This caused a release from the company’s waste water storage tank area into the Indian Marais drainage feature. A mixture of storm water and oil was released. CITGO issued a press release stating multiple contract oil recovery organizations, boats, skimmers, and containment booms are being utilized. The cause of the spill remains under investigation.
16 June 2006 Dasha River, Shangxi Province, China
A toxic spill in north China has contaminated water supplies for 50,000 people and poses a threat to a reservoir supplying millions more, state media reported today. Sixty tons of coal tar carried by an overturned lorry spilt into the Dasha river in the northern province of Shanxi on Monday (Jun 12), Xinhua news agency reported. “The spill, moving at about one kph, is approaching the Wangkuai reservoir about 70 km from the accident site,” Xinhua said, quoting environmental protection officials. The Wangkuai is one of two key reservoirs supplying water to 10 million people in Baoding, a city in neighbouring Hebei province. The spill had already reached Hebei’s Fuping county on Tuesday, Xinhua said, contaminating water supplies for 50,000 people. Clean-up efforts, initially delayed by the lorry driver’s cover-up of the toxic cargo, had included the building of 51 dams to intercept the coal tar “so as to win time for treating polluted water”, Xinhua said.
19 June 2006
Chinese authorities said a toxic coal tar spill flowing down a northern river had slowed as they yesterday rushed to stop it from reaching a reservoir that serves a city of 10 million and is a standby source for the 2008 Olympics. Dams, pumps and cotton quilts helped slow the sludge’s flow so that it travelled just one mile down the Dasha River over the past two days, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Clean-up work was stepped up as government leaders urged local residents and officials to deal aggressively with the mishap. The spill occurred when a truck overloaded with 80 tons of toxic coal tar fell into the Dasha River last Monday (Jun 12), leaking some of its contents into the river. Officials were scrambling to clean up the sludge - which had earlier been reported to amount to 60 tons - before it reached the Wangkuai reservoir in Baoding, a city of 10 million in Hebei province. The sludge was 32 miles from the reservoir yesterday. The reservoir, which provides Baoding’s residents with drinking water, is also meant to be a standby source for the Olympic Games, Xinhua said. Clean-up crews from Hebei’s Fuping county constructed a 1,210-foot-long dam that could contain 200,000 cubic meters of water, Xinhua said. The dam would allow more water to be pumped out and trucked away. Meanwhile, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and local government leaders in Hebei province said officials should ensure that residents living along the river had access to safe drinking water. By yesterday, the water level in the Dasha River had decreased nearly 32 inches through the trucking away of some 2,450 tons of polluted water and the use of 50 pumps, the statement said. Tests showed some improvement in the water quality, a statement said, but “the task of disposing polluted water remains very arduous.” The Hebei provincial government had allocated the equivalent of $625,000 to the cleanup efforts, the statement said.