CEA says three more days needed to remove fuel from Nilwala River

CEA says three more days needed to remove fuel from Nilwala River

CEA says three more days needed to remove fuel from Nilwala River

Written by Tharushan Fernando

18 Jan, 2016 | 10:30 pm

Measures were underway on Monday as well to remove the fuel mixed in with the water of the Nilwala River after being leaked from a filling station in Akuressa. The Central Environmental Authority says that it would take around three days more to completely remove the fuel from the water.

Fuel from this filling station in Akuressa started to leak into the river on Saturday. Around 12,000 litres of fuel from the filling station had leaked into the river. Even though rigorous measures had been taken over the past three days to remove the oil slick, water of the Nilwala River is yet to be fuel-free.

Officials of the Central Environmental Authority and Disaster Management Centre collected and examined samples of water from several locations of the Nilwala River on Monday. The filling station, which was at the centre of the water contamination, has been closed since Sunday evening. The remaining fuel at this station was removed with the intervention of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation on Monday. The incident also disrupted the supply of water to several areas surrounding the Matara Town. The supply has now been restored.

Officials of the Disaster Management Centre nevertheless inspected the water treatment facilities. A special discussion was held at the Akuressa Divisional Secretariat on the prevailing situation. Officers from the Central Environmental Authority, Coast Conservation Department, Marine Environment Protection Authority, Security Services and Public Health Inspectors were at the meeting.

Director General of Central Environmental Authority, K.H. Muthukuda Arachchi, noted that there was was a certain degree of harmful effects on the environment and after assessing the situation, legal action will be taken under the provisions of the National Environmental Act.

He further noted that the Central Environmental Authority is planning on spearheading a programme together with the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation to avoid a recurrence by fuel stations or any other institution in Sri Lanka in the future. Minister of Petroleum Resources Development, Chandima Weerakkody, noted that a programme has been initiated to repair fuel tanks older than 30 years. The chairman has also been instructed to compile a report with the help of a board of officials detailing fuel stations that have broken tanks to prevent such an incident from recurring.

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