Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi
26 May, 2021 | 3:33 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st): The Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) is in the process of collecting evidence to determine the level of pollution caused as a result of the blazing MV X-PRESS PEARL, in order to seek compensation.
“We have collected evidence including water samples from various locations in closer proximity of the vessel, conducted air pollution monitoring near the vessel and close to Keralawapitiya area on the land,” Dharshani Lahandapura, the Chairperson of the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) told News 1st on Wednesday (May 26).
According to Lahandapura, MEPA is planning to conduct further analysis and collect samples from areas close to the Negombo beach area, where the debris had grounded, and also from the sediments of the sea bed.
“Based on the analytical reports we can assume there is pollution, but it has to be supported by evidence. So, if the findings of the reports support establishing pollution in the Sri Lankan coastal and marine environment, we are going to take legal action or whatever the other action we can take as the MEPA,” Dharshani Lahandapura pointed out.
As the 1st step in this regard, the Panel of Experts that helped finalize the air pollution report from the MT New Diamond vessel were summoned on Tuesday (May 25) for online discussions on the way forward with regard to air and marine pollution pertaining to MV X-PRESS PEARL, the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) said.
“We will take whatever the possible action, in the best interest of the country,” Dharshani Lahandapura, the Chairperson of the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) emphasized.
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