Oil spill cleanup: Rock bund cleaning is under way as progress has been made, says Grace Fu

SINGAPORE – The oil spill cleanup focused on cleaning rock bunds is under way at beaches in Sentosa, said Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu.

“At Tanjong Beach, which is the most impacted of the three popular beaches at Sentosa, the focus remains on removing the oil deposits and oil-soaked sand,” she said in a Facebook post on June 30, following a visit to the island to observe the cleanup with Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan.

“This next phase of cleaning rock bunds is more complex than the earlier phase of our clean-up operation. Unlike the shorelines, it involves slippery and uneven surfaces.

“Cleaning the different segments of the rock bunds also has to coincide with the ebb and flood tides,” she added.

“When I visited, the cleaning personnel were flushing surface oil off rock bunds with low-pressure flushing and removing the more stubborn stains on the boulders with high-pressure jet sprays.”

Ms Fu also said progress has been made in the oil spill cleanup at Sentosa since she last visited one week ago.

In a June 24 press conference, she had said the authorities were moving into the next phase of the cleanup, which entailed cleaning up remnants in places that are not easily accessible. This phase is expected to take around three months.

On June 14, Netherlands-flagged dredging boat Vox Maxima hit stationary bunker vessel Marine Honour at Pasir Panjang Terminal after suffering a sudden loss of engine and steering control.

This caused oil from one of Marine Honour’s tanks to leak into the sea and stain coastlines at areas such as Sentosa, East Coast Park and Keppel Bay.

Due to the incident, large swathes of the soiled East Coast Park coastline were cordoned off and swimming was banned at Sentosa’s Tanjong, Siloso and Palawan beaches. Neighbouring businesses have experienced a drop in footfall.

But Ms Fu said operators are “positive” about the progress of the cleanup and “business has picked up slightly”. 

“We are doing our best to complete the clean-up operations as soon as we can, and in a safe manner,” she added.

Source link