Barge refloated; all drums removed in oil spill-hit Estancia-A A +A
Thursday, January 9, 2014
THE power barge that ran aground causing an oil spill in Estancia, Iloilo was refloated and all the drums of contaminated bunker fuel were already removed.
Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (Psalm) secretary Elmer Nonnatus Cadano said all the 378 drums from the damaged Power Barge 103 were removed from the oil spill site.
Cadano said Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. set a deadline for the contractor, Kuan Yu Global Technologies Inc., to finish the siphoning of all the oil and debris by Thursday.
“We will try to rehabilitate the barge to the best possible and deliver it to the bidder, hopefully, for the price that they have bid for,” he said.
Cadano said the contractor is done with patching the holes and is completing some requirements from the reinsurer before shipping the barge to Batangas for dry docking.
Around 1,200 individuals were forcibly evacuated following the oil spill incident as a power barge of the National Power Corporation was damaged during the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in the shoreline of Estancia, Iloilo.
Governor Defensor also asked experts on Thursday to conduct another test to determine the air quality at the oil spill site in Barangay Botongon, Estancia.
Environmental Management Bureau inspectors will be in the site on Friday to do the air quality monitoring of benzene and hydrogen sulphide concentrations.
Once the results turn good, the governor said he will ask the Department of Health to issue another certification indicating that the evacuees, especially those living within the 20-meter radius, may return to their homes.
“The evacuees will not return if there are still foul diesel fumes coming from the area,” Defensor said.
The governor added that around 87 families are staying at the tent city in Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College-West Campus in Estancia. Majority of them were staying 20 meters from where the oil spill-hit area.
The Provincial Government has been providing food subsistence allowance of P30 pesos each person since the force evacuation last November 2013. (PR)