After pipeline spills, Rayong officials say beach is “still unsafe”

Photo by Greenpeace Thailand.

After 3 separate oil spills from the same company within a month, Rayong officials say the Mae Ramphueng beach is still unsafe. Health officials tested urine samples of officials who had to collect the oil. Out of 534 officials, 3 showed unsafe levels of volatile compounds. 18 other officials still await their results.

The Rayong Pollution Control Centre also said yesterday that the concentration of heavy metals and petroleum hydrocarbons on the beach is still considered unsafe.

The company responsible, Star Petroleum Refining, has vowed to seal leaks in their underwater pipeline. The company started the clean up yesterday after getting approval from the provincial police and marine departments. It said it would finish in 11 days. An engineering team from Japan is also helping clean under the command of the marine department.

48 local fishery groups have petitioned to be compensated for the leaks, since the leaks forced all beach and fishing activities to be suspended.

The Marine and Coastal Services Resources Research Centre said it did not find any oil film in the ocean water from Mae Ramphueng to the bottom of the Gulf of Thailand. But the director-general of the Department of Marine and Coastal Services said clusters of tar balls were seen from one pier, to the bottom of the Gulf.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Environment News

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.