DENR to slap AC Energy with penalties for Iloilo oil spill

DENR to slap AC Energy with penalties for Iloilo oil spill

MANILA – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will fine AC Energy Corporation for the oil spill incident in Iloilo City over the weekend.

DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda on Sunday said the agency would issue a Notice of Violation of Republic Act 9275 or the Clean Water Act, to AC Energy Corp.

He added that a technical conference would be called to immediately address the clean-up operation of the July 4 oil spill.

Antiporda said it is the responsibility of AC Energy to conduct the clean-up operation, as they are the owner of the barge that exploded from Power Barge 102.

The company is now coordinating with Harbor Star Shipping Services, a third party, for the oil spill clean-up in the affected areas.

The explosion caused a one-foot wide hole in the hull of the power barge leading to the oil spill.

No one was reported injured in the incident.

The DENR said the clean up must be conducted following the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan and that the operation must be supervised by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

The Regional Incident Management Team was created for the monitoring of all aspects of the clean-up — affected community, its health and environmental impact, and waste management.

DENR is also recommending the clean up of heavy bunker fuel in mangrove areas to allow wave action and disperse the oil and collect them from the sea.

Sorbents and manual clean-up are also recommended by the DENR, to be done under strict monitoring to ensure that mangroves in the area will not be disturbed, because doing so may cause more harm than good.

Antiporda said a meeting was held on July 4 with AC Energy Inc. and the Philippine Coast Guard, which is supervising the clean-up.

AC Energy, in a statement, said the containment stage has been completed Saturday evening, through the use of multilayered spill booms from PB 102, and additional layers from the PCG and Petron.

Skimming operations were also started on the same day.

AC Energy is currently conducting a thorough investigation of the incident, engaging a third-party firm on the cause of the incident to prevent a similar mishap.

Aside from the immediate clean up of the oil spill, the company also promised to support the affected communities. (PNA)

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