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Sapugaskanda oil leak during floods: Two Ministry committees to report this week  

2 years ago

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  • One on compensation, other on cause, shortcomings/negligence 

  • Leak from old underground treatment plant: Gammanpila    

By Yoshitha Perera   The two committees which were appointed to look into the oil leak from the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery during the recent floods in the adjoining areas will submit their reports by Tuesday (22), Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila said. Responding to The Sunday Morning, he said that the Energy Ministry could not say anything about the actual cause and how much the Government would allocate to pay as compensation to the residents, until the two reports are received.  He added: “One committee will investigate the causes and what sort of measures we can take to prevent such incidents in the future while the other committee will calculate and state the compensation that is required.”  The two committees were appointed on 7 June by the Ministry and they have to report on the progress within 14 days.  On 8 June, at a media conference, Minister Gammanpila said: “The relevant committee also has to investigate the shortcomings or negligence on the part of the officers at the refinery."    He added that the oil leak had occurred through an underground treatment plant which had been established in the 1960s. According to the reports released to the media by the Navy and the Coast Guard on 4 June, flood water had become mixed with furnace oil leaking from an underground tank, and spread towards the Kelani River.   However, steps were taken by the Navy to curb the spread of the oil using oil skimmers. 

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