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MEPA committed to face any oil spills

The Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) says it is prepared to face any possible oil spill from the sinking X-Press Pearl container ship off the West coast of Sri Lanka.

MEPA Chairperson Darshani Lahandapura speaking to reporters today (03) said that Oil Containment Booms will be positioned around the vessel and chemical dispersants will also be aerially dropped in order to prevent leaking oil, if any, from spreading.

“If the weather is not on our side, we will have to be ready for a beach clean-up. We are prepared for such operations,” she said.

General (Retd) R. M. Daya Ratnayake, the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority speaking to reporters added that the first point of action at the moment is to determine if the fuel in the vessel remains onboard and thereafter, necessary measures will be taken.

“MEPA led teams are already taking the necessary measures to address a potential oil spill,” he said.

He also stated that at a recent meeting with the Attorney General, it was decided to produce a compensation claim.

General Ratnayake explained that foam was added to the container which was leaking nitric acid while water was only added to other parts of the vessel in the early stages in order to cool down the vessel temperature.