Second oil spill 'doubles' damage to Rayong coast
A second oil spill from a pipeline owned by Star Petroleum Refining Public Co Ltd (SPRC) has at least doubled the damage to the marine environment off the coast of Rayong, an expert said on Sunday.
Thon Thamrongnawasawat, deputy dean of the Faculty of Fisheries at Kasetsart University, wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday that oil slicks can once again be seen along Mae Ramphueng beach, one of the areas worst-affected by the first oil spill on Jan 25.
After the first spill, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment urged the police to investigate SPRC. The company was also told to cease operations immediately after the incident.
However, SPRC admitted on Thursday that a further 5,000 litres of crude oil had leaked from the same pipeline.
Mr Thon said thin films of crude oil can be seen along Mae Ramphueng beach once again.
Worse still, he wrote, samples taken from the beach showed the oil was seeping deeper into the sand.
A study of wedge clams, a known biological indicator of pollution, that were taken from the area showed many were killed as a result of exposure to crude oil. The spill, he said, isn't just affecting local clam populations, as many other crustaceans commonly found along the coast have also been affected.
The clean-up of Mae Ramphueng beach is carried out by the Air and Coastal Defence Command under the navy, which recently said the situation was "under control".