DoE: Minimal impact in Johor from Singapore oil spill

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

JOHOR BARU, June 21 — The Johor Department of Environment (DoE) expects minimal pollution impact to the state’s coast and waters from the oil spill at the Pasir Panjang Terminal in Singapore last week.

Department director Mohd Famey Yusof said the prediction was based on Singapore’s current sea conditions that have washed the oil away from its territorial waters.

“This has caused a minimal pollution impact in Johor’s waters today and was not as serious as initially predicted.

“Swift action by the Singapore authorities in containing the oil spill earlier also contributed in preventing any spillover oil from flowing to other areas.

“However, authorities will continue to conduct monitoring activities to prevent any spillover oil from contaminating Johor’s waters and coastline,” Mohd Famey said when contacted by several media outlets today.

He was commenting on clean-up and monitoring efforts by authorities following a ship collision at Pasir Panjang Terminal in Singapore which resulted in spilled marine fuel oil (MFO) contaminating nearby waters several days ago.

On current clean-up efforts to contain the situation, Mohd Famey said the pollution levels due to the spillover oil had not increased compared to yesterday.

“In the Dataran Sungai Rengit area that was contaminated by the incident, we found traces of oil stains with a lot of rubbish that was covered in black oil.

“Similarly, oil slicks and rubbish covered in oil were reported along the one kilometre coastal area along Pantai Sungai Rengit to Teluk Ramunia,” he said, adding that only certain parts of the affected shoreline area is covered in oil.

Earlier, Johor Health and Environment Committee chairman Ling Tian Soon said the clean-up efforts on both beaches was done with coordination from various parties and agencies.

He said an insurance company responsible for the shipping company involved in the incident has appointed a contractor to carry out the cleaning work, and all costs will be borne by the insurance company.

Ling, who has been proactive in updating the situation, said the Johor DoE, the Kota Tinggi district office, the Marine Department and others will continue to monitor the situation in ensuring that the coastal area contaminated with the oil is cleaned up.

“We will continue with our efforts until the situation returns to normal," he said in a statement today.

Yesterday, authorities reportedly assessed the situation following the oil spill that have affected parts of Pengerang’s waters near Kota Tinggi.

The affected areas in Johor were identified as the shorelines of Sungai Rengit and Teluk Ramunia.

On June 14, the Netherlands-flagged dredger Vox Maxima struck a stationary Singapore-flagged bunker vessel at Pasir Panjang Terminal at 2.20pm, causing oil to leak from its damaged cargo tank into the sea.

Following the incident, Singapore media reported that tidal currents deposited the oil along shorelines at Sentosa, Labrador Nature Reserve, the Southern Islands, Marina South Pier and East Coast Parkway (ECP).

In a joint statement by Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA), National Parks Board (NParks), NEA and Sentosa Development Corporation, it said there have been no further leaks since the evening of June 14 and all escaped oil has been treated with dispersants.