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US: Barge crashes into Pelican Island Causeway in Texas

US Coast Guard received a report at 9.48 am reporting a 321-foot barge, MMLP 321, allided with the Pelican Island Causeway; MMLP 321 was reported to be carrying 30,000 barrels of vacuum gas oil.

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US: Barge crashes into Pelican Island Causeway in Texas

The US Coast Guard on Wednesday (15 May) said it was coordinating with local, state, and federal agencies in response to the Pelican Island Causeway allision in Galveston, Texas.

Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders received a report at 9.48 am reporting a 321-foot barge, MMLP 321, allided with the Pelican Island Causeway.

The MMLP 321 was reported to be carrying 30,000 barrels of vacuum gas oil. A photo from the US Coast Guard showed splotches of oil spilled from the barge into the waters in the vicinity of the incident. 

US: Barge crashes into Pelican Island Causeway in Texas

Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and coordinated the launch of a Coast Guard Station Galveston boat crew to respond.

The Coast Guard said a 3,000 feet of containment boom has been deployed in the vicinity of the allision.

The intercoastal waterway has been closed from Pelican Cut (mile marker 351.5) to the Galveston Causeway (mile marker 357.3) and a 5.8-mile safety zone has been issued for the surrounding waters. Mariners are urged to avoid the area.

No injuries have been reported. 

On 16 May, AP reported that the Coast Guard said it was estimated that up to 2,000 gallons of oil may have spilled into surrounding waters when the barge struck the bridge. 

 

Photo credit: US Coast Guard
Published: 17 May 2024

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Environment

Singapore oil spill: Clean-up enters next phase of cleaning rock bunds

Singapore authorities said removal of bulk oil from sea and beaches is nearly completed and will move on to the next stage of clean-up response, which is focused on the more difficult clean-up of oil remnants in areas such as rock bunds.

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Singapore oil spill: Clean-up enters next phase of cleaning rock bunds

Singapore authorities on Monday (24 June) said the removal of bulk oil from the sea and beaches is nearly completed and will move on to the next stage of the clean-up response. 

An oil spill occurred on 14 June after Netherlands-registered dredger Vox Maxima hit stationary bunker vessel Marine Honour causing fuel from the bunker vessel’s cargo tank to spill into Singapore waters. 

In a joint statement by authorities including Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), they said there has been no observed oil slick along the East Coast and Changi since 18 June based on both satellite and drone images. 

The bulk of oil-soaked sand has been removed from most of the affected public beaches, with the exception of Tanjong and Palawan beach at Sentosa. To date, about 550 tonnes of oil-soaked sand and debris have been collected from all affected beaches.

“We are moving to the next phase of the clean-up response, which is focused on the more difficult clean-up of oil remnants trapped in areas such as coastal features, waterside infrastructures and rock bunds. These areas are not as easily accessible, and oil could be trapped in crevices and below beach surfaces that require significant effort to clean,” they said. 

“This new phase will involve specialised resources and equipment. This cleaning will be done carefully, considering the conditions at each site, such as wind, tide and currents, to minimise the oil on the rock bunds from re-polluting the coastline, beaches, and biodiversity-sensitive areas.”

“We are working with the oil spill consultants to deploy the most effective methods for cleaning while minimising cleaning contamination to surrounding areas.”

For the more heavily impacted areas, including Sentosa’s Tanjong and Palawan beaches, the specialised clean-up operations are expected to take around three months, based on our preliminary estimates.

For the more lightly impacted areas at Sentosa Siloso beach and certain stretches of East Coast Park, this clean-up is expected to be completed earlier. The rock bund cleaning at Siloso beach has commenced since 21 June and the Singapore Civil Defence Force has deployed a Rapid Response Fire Vessel at the affected area to support the cleaning operation. The rock bund cleaning at selected rock bunds at East Coast Park beaches will commence this week and we are working towards the progressive reopening of certain stretches earlier as well. All the beaches on Sentosa remain open.

For biodiversity-sensitive sites, ongoing efforts are underway to monitor longer term impacts to biodiversity.

Even after a beach has been cleaned and re-opened, swimming and water activities can resume only after water quality has gone back to normal and is stable. 

The Government is also closely monitoring the impact of the oil spill on related businesses and affected residents as the situation continues to evolve.

Sentosa Cove is less severely affected, as lockgates were closed promptly, supplemented by absorbent booms since 15 June 2024. Currently, vessel movements within Sentosa Cove have been halted and these efforts have been made to minimise the impact on Cove waterways and canals within residential areas, while awaiting oil deposits on seaward rock bunds to be cleaned. Vessel movements would be allowed to resume when lockgates are safe to open.

MPA will also start to transfer remaining oil left on board bunker vessel Marine Honour, which was hit and damaged during the 14 June incident. 

The damaged Marine Honour which spilled the oil on 14 June is currently anchored off the western petroleum anchorage. 

“The remaining fuel oil onboard from the ruptured cargo tank and its full contents onboard the vessel must be emptied before it can be towed into the shipyard for its repair,” the authorities said.

“Aside from the containment booms laid around the vessel, a 35-tonnes oil load Current Buster system is on station to respond to any potential leaks in the lightering process to transfer the MARINE HONOUR oil to another vessel.”

Note: The full statement by Singapore authorities can be found here

Related: Malaysia to look into demands of Johor fisherman affected by oil spill from Singapore
Related: MPA: Owner of bunker tanker involved in Singapore oil spill is liable for pollution damage
Related: Singapore: Allision between dredger and bunker tanker was not caused by port congestion, says Transport Minister
Related: Singapore: Oil spill cleanup after allision between dredger “Vox Maxima” and bunker tanker “Marine Honour”

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 25 June, 2024

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Environment

Malaysia to look into demands of Johor fisherman affected by oil spill from Singapore

Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the government will study their demand based on legal provisions available and look into solutions.

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Malaysia: Government to look into demands of Johor fisherman affected by oil spill from Singapore

A Malaysian minister said the government will look into the demands of fishermen in Johor affected by the recent oil spill that spread from Singapore waters, according to several media reports. 

Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the government will study their demand based on legal provisions available and look into solutions. 

His comments came following the recent oil spill after an allision between a dredger and a stationary bunker tanker in Singapore, which affected several beaches in the southern part of Johor. 

On 21 June, it was reported that the Johor Department of Environment stated it expected minimal pollution impact to the Johor’s coast and waters from the oil spill and that it was not as serious as initially predicted.

In a Facebook post, state health and environment committee chairman Ling Tian Soon said clean-ups began on 21 June at Sungai Rengit and Teluk Rumunia. 

On 14 June, Netherlands-registered dredger Vox Maxima crashed into stationary bunker vessel Marine Honour causing fuel from one of the bunker vessel’s cargo tanks to spill into Singapore waters. 

Last week, MPA said the shipowner of Marine Honour, the stationary Singapore-flagged bunker tanker that was hit by a dredger recently, is liable for costs incurred from the 14 June oil spill.

MPA said tanker Marine Honour has “strict liability”, which means it is liable even in the absence of fault, for pollution damage caused by oil spill from its tanker in Singapore waters.

Related: MPA: Owner of bunker tanker involved in Singapore oil spill is liable for pollution damage
Related: Singapore: Allision between dredger and bunker tanker was not caused by port congestion, says Transport Minister
Related: Singapore: Oil spill cleanup after allision between dredger “Vox Maxima” and bunker tanker “Marine Honour”
Related: Singapore sees large increases in container volumes, bunkering activities remain unaffected
Related: MPA reports ‘significant increase’ in vessel arrivals in Singapore

 

Photo credit: Ling Tian Soon 
Published: 24 June, 202

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Environment

MPA: Owner of bunker tanker involved in Singapore oil spill is liable for pollution damage

MPA said stationary tanker “Marine Honour” has ‘strict liability’ which means it is liable even in the absence of fault, for pollution damage caused by fuel spilling from its cargo tank into Singapore waters.

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MPA: Clean-up ops continue following oil spill in Singapore, affected beaches closed

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore on Thursday (20 June) said the shipowner of Marine Honour, the stationary Singapore-flagged bunker tanker that was hit by a dredger recently, is liable for costs incurred from the 14 June oil spill. 

Netherlands-registered dredger Vox Maxima crashed into the bunker vessel causing fuel from the bunker vessel’s cargo tank to spill into Singapore waters. 

In response to media queries, MPA said tanker Marine Honour has “strict liability”, which means it is liable even in the absence of fault, for pollution damage caused by oil spill from its tanker in Singapore waters.

MPA added this falls under the Merchant Shipping (Civil Liability and Compensation for Oil Pollution) Act 1998, which is Singapore’s enactment of the 1992 International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (1992 CLC).

“The spirit of the ‘polluter pays’ principle simplifies the claims process by having a clear party against which to pursue claims without potential complications of proving fault,” it said in a statement. 

“This includes expenses that Singapore Government agencies are incurring such as clean-up costs at sea and on shore.”

“The owner of the Marine Honour retains the right to take recourse action against third parties for its pollution liability.”

Related: Singapore: Allision between dredger and bunker tanker was not caused by port congestion, says Transport Minister
Related: Singapore: Oil spill cleanup after allision between dredger “Vox Maxima” and bunker tanker “Marine Honour”
Related: Singapore sees large increases in container volumes, bunkering activities remain unaffected
Related: MPA reports ‘significant increase’ in vessel arrivals in Singapore


Published: 21 June, 2024

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