Environmental Protection Administration Executive Yuan, R.O.C. (Taiwan)

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Oil Spill Cleanups Proceed in Kinmen and Kaohsiung

Typhoon Meranti recently passed over Taiwan, causing ships to run aground in Taiwan’s maritime territory: One on the southwest coast of Kinmen Island and two at Xiziwan, Kaohsiung City. The EPA diligently monitoried the emergency response efforts and was in close contact with other relevant ministries and the local governments involved, collaborating and providing assistance as necessary in order to eliminate marine pollution and potential marine pollution as soon as possible. On 18 September 2016, EPA Minister Ying-Yuan Lee visited Kinmen County and inspected the affected coastal area along with Magistrate Fu-Hai Chen and Members of the Legislative Yuan.

During his visit to Kinmen, Minister Lee promised the EPA’s full assistance to the Kinmen County Government to clean up the spilled oil and eliminate the threat of further marine pollution from the China-registered ship, the Gang Tai Tai Zhou, that ran aground along the southwest coast of Kinmen Island. To minimize the chance of oil from the ship causing environmental damage, the Coast Guard Administration maintained a ring of oil booms on the sea around it. Oil booms were also attached to the ship’s hull as wind and tide conditions dictated.

The EPA continued to supervise the oil spill cleanup operation for the Gang Tai Tai Zhou. The Xiamen City Maritime Affairs Bureau dispatched two workships to remove remaining oil from the ship itself, and three high-pressure cleaning machines were brought in to clean the nearby reefs. According to updates from the Kinmen Emergency Response Center, the Chinese crew pumped 25 tonnes of diesel and 2.5 tonnes of lubricant from the ship. The next stage is to remove any remaining oily water and clean up the coastal area before restoring the reef environment to its original condition.

The EPA also employed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology to conduct aerial monitoring of the area, and the most recent images confirmed that there is no new spillage of oil. On 23 September, the Coast Guard Administration held the 7th Gang Tai Tai Zhou Grounding Response Meeting, during which the Kinmen County Government urged the ship’s owner to quickly implement pollution control measures and explain how they would deal with the oily waste. In addition, the EPA promised to continue giving its full assistance to the Kinmen County Government to clean up the oil spill as soon as possible.

At Xiziwan, two fishing vessels, the Shuntian 606 and the Yongxingfa 168, spilled oil after running aground. The Port of Kaohsiung, under the Taiwan International Ports Corporation, already removed some oil from the sea, coast, concrete breakwaters, and reefs in the harbor and restored the area to its original condition. Residual oil from the two vessels had been removed and the cleanup verified. The task of hauling the vessels out of the area will soon be undertaken by the owners under the supervision of the Port of Kaohsiung. The owners have submitted a vessel removal plan, also being reviewed by the Port of Kaohsiung, and once approved, the vessels will be removed, allowing the Xiziwan coast to be restored to its original state.

The EPA is keen to stress that all agencies involved in the cleanup and emergency response efforts should put personnel safety first. With close cooperation and concerted efforts between central and local governments in dealing with these grounding incidents, the EPA hopes that the cleanup will be successful in protecting the marine ecosystems of the two areas.

  • Source:Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)
  • Date:2016/10/1
  • Updated:2017/8/24
  • Hit:205