Rayong beach billed unsafe

Rayong beach billed unsafe

The seawater around Mae Ramphueng beach in Rayong has been contaminated by two recent oil spills and is unsafe for recreational activities, according to the Rayong Pollution Control Centre.

After collecting samples from Feb 3-4, the centre reported the seawater in two of six areas near the beach in Mueang district had been found to be contaminated with amounts of petroleum hydrocarbon that exceeded the level deemed safe for swimming or other water sports and activities.

The two unsafe spots are around Muban Sabai Sabai Resort and Lan Hin Khao. They were affected by the first oil slick at the end of January and a second less than two weeks later, the centre said.

The government agency said the air quality in areas near the beach has not been polluted with volatile organic compounds such as hydrogen sulfide or sulphur dioxide but a slight smell of crude oil can be detected around the aforementioned resort.

Rayong's public health authority said it has checked on the condition of the 348 people who worked on the beach to clean up the spill and found no sign of illness.

The provincial fisheries office has inspected local marine life such as fish, squid and shrimp and found no hazardous chemical contamination, deeming them safe for consumption.

Meanwhile, no crude oil from the second incident has been detected at Khao Laem Ya–Mu Ko Samet National Park, according to Sophon Thongdee, director-general of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources. It plans to take samples from Mae Ramphueng for examination.

Mr Sophon said the Marine and Coastal Resources Research Centre has examined seawater around Hat Sai Kaeo on Ko Samet. An oil sheen was detected on Hua Rot canal near Mae Ramphueng beach but no chemical hazard, he said.

On Jan 25, 47,000 litres of oil leaked from a pipeline owned by Star Petroleum Refining Public Co, about 20km offshore. Another 5,000 litres were leaked on Feb 10.

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