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Negros Occ. slams delay in removal of tanker; oil sheen in Silay, Talisay

September 8, 2006

BY CARLA GOMEZ

NEGROS Occidental Gov. Joseph Marañon yesterday said he is disgusted that no assurance has been given as to when MT Solar 1 with its bunker fuel cargo will be removed from its sink site off the coast of Guimaras.

As long as that bunker fuel remains down there it will pose a danger to Negros Occidental, he said, reiterating demand for it to be removed.

“They should give us a time table so we do not have to constantly wait in suspense, he said, pointing out that the bunker fuel containers on board MT Solar 1 could explode any time and endanger more coastlines in Western Visayas and beyond.”

Marañon was reacting to the statement of Jose Campos, Petron vice president for marketing, at a press conference in Bacolod City Wednesday, that no definitive time frame can be given for the removal of the sunken bunker fuel.

Campos said that of the 2.19 million liters of bunker of fuel on board the MT Solar 1 that sank on Aug. 11 about 1.8 to 1.9 million liters is still at the bottom of the sea.

“We cannot really say how long this is going to take…our assessment is it is going to take some time,” Campos said.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Disaster Management Team yesterday said oil sheen 60 meters wide and 2 kilometers long was sighted within the waters of Silay and Talisay cities approximately 6 to 7 kilometers from the shoreline of Mambag-id Dock.

But Silay Mayor Carlos Gamban said the sheen, which was seen 5 kilometers from the Silay City coast, moved towards Concepcion, Iloilo, yesterday afternoon.

Gamban said the Coast Guard was dispatched to the area where the oil sheen was spotted but when they got there it had already moved away.

The oil was a bit thicker than the usual sheen that had been seen, he said. No other oil sheen sightings were reported in Negros Occidental waters, the PDMT said.

(For the full stories, click Vis. Daily Star, Sept. 8, 2006.)

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