Governor, SPRC to discuss local payout

Governor, SPRC to discuss local payout

The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment has instructed the governor of Rayong to sit down with representatives from Star Petroleum Refining Plc (SPRC) to thrash out appropriate compensation for local fishermen affected by the oil leaks from its underwater pipeline, it was announced on Monday.

Jatuporn Buruspat, the ministry's permanent secretary, said the decision to have governor Channa Iamsaeng negotiate on behalf of the fishermen was made at a meeting attended by representatives from the local fishing industry.

The meeting, which was also attended by officials from the Pollution Control Department (PCD) and Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR), agreed that compensation should be based on a court ruling on Rayong's worst oil spill, which happened back in 2013.

Mr Jatuporn said the latest official inspection of the area's coastline showed most of the beaches in the area meet the pollution standards set by the government, except near the oil spill location.

DMCR director-general Sopon Thongdee said the department is working with the PCD, park authorities and Rayong's Office of Natural Resources and the SPRC to monitor the number of tar balls at three locations along Mae Ramphueng Beach.

Meanwhile, the SPRC said it will inject more sealant to prevent leaks from a valve which prior testing found to be damaged.

According to the company's latest update, a total of 37,670 litres of crude oil have been removed from the pipeline.

The amount was three times the SRPC's earlier estimation of about 12,000 litres.

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