SPRC slapped with police complaint over second oil spill in Rayong
The Pollution Control Department (PCD) on Monday filed a police complaint against Star Petroleum Refining Plc (SPRC) for causing a second oil spill in the Gulf of Thailand in less than one month.
PCD had on January 31 filed a complaint against SPRC for thousands of litres of oil being leaked from an undersea pipeline at its single point mooring (SPM) some 20 kilometres southeast of Rayong’s Map Ta Phut port on January 25.
“SPRC was behind another oil spill on February 10 after it had moved the pipeline in a bid to investigate the leak that had caused the first oil spill,” Atthaphol Charoenchansa, PCD director-general, said on Monday. “Moving the pipe has reportedly caused about 5,000 litres of oil that was still in the pipe to flow into the sea.”
Atthaphol said SPRC has violated Article 199 of the 1913 Act on Navigation in Thai Waters by causing damage to aquatic animals and ecosystem as well as jeopardising marine navigation safety, which has a maximum punishment of three years in prison and/or 60,000 baht fine. The violator must pay for the rectification of such damage as well as compensation to affected parties.
“The department’s legal team is investigating the case to file other applicable criminal charges,” Atthaphol said.
SPRC, meanwhile, has said that it has deployed booms around the slick since last Thursday and the situation is under control. The Marine Department is keeping ships away from the area and has dispatched boats and officials to monitor the situation.