The Environmental Safety Group has expressed concern over the recent oil spill produced by CEPSA’s mono-buoy and believes its full scale will only be known after some time has passed given the nature of the leak.
The discrepancy on volume has raised concern within the Group with 500, 2,000 and now 2,500 litres being quoted by CEPSA, Capitanía Marítima in Algeciras and the Gibraltar Port respectively.
Despite the urgent response by all parties to clean up the oil spill and monitor this incident, it raises a number of important issues, the group adds.
The cause has been reported as a fault in the mono-buoy during the disconnection of submerged pipelines.
The ESG has called for an independent review to be made of all critical infrastructure and systems at CEPSA to ensure such spills are avoided in future.
It believes that control of equipment, systems and prevention measures need to be monitored from outside the industry and that penalties for any spill have to be of such magnitude as to cause a new and increased level of care and prevention within industry.
With a new and large investment announced recently by CEPSA, the ESG says the refinery must invest in upgrading infrastructure and safety systems and not simply expand operations and its profitability.
“It is well documented that even a few litres of crude oil will wreak havoc on wildlife so two tons will have definitely impacted on the bays living environment,” ESG said.
“Birds and fish need only come into contact or even simply inhale this toxic material to suffer damage or worse.”
Given the environmental impact of crude oil spills the ESG strongly urges measures to be taken at a cross border level to ensure these do not happen again.