Environment

Damaged oil pipeline in Bataan repaired, clean-up starts

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DINALUPIHAN, Bataan – The damaged portion of the 94-kilometer Subic – Clark oil pipeline in this town has been repaired, signaling the start of clean-up operation.

“Everything is under control. Sealing the oil leak was done by an expert,” said Ariel Entico, operations manager of Envirocare.

Envirocare is a private company accredited by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that undertakes containment, mitigation and rehabilitation procedures in barangay San Ramon where oil leaked Wednesday from a pipeline owned by the Clark Pipeline and Depot Company, Inc. (CPCDI).

Dinalupihan Mayor Maria Angela Garcia said there is nothing to worry about anymore with the sealing of the oil leak. She said she immediately mobilized municipal, provincial and national agencies involved in disaster upon learning of the fuel leak.

“Isinara namin ang lahat ng lagusan ng drainage para hindi kumalat sa lupang sakahan kung sakali ang tumagas na langis at namigay kami ng face masks sa mga residenteng malapit kung saan umamoy ang langis,” the mayor said.

“We also made parallel tests on water to make sure that it is not contaminated,” Garcia added. Romeo Vitug, municipal disaster coordinating council chief, was in the area round-the-clock. San Ramon barangay chairman was also visible in the site.

Humpry Malibiran, maintenance contractor, was on standby with his heavy equipment. “Regular ang digital check-up ng pipeline sa pamamagitan ng Smart Pig,” he said.

Information from a refutable source said the portion of the pipeline that incurred a leak was sealed with an imported permanent mechanical sleeve clamp. The leak reportedly came from a small hole at the side of the pipeline as big as the size of a human little finger.

The source said some scratches on the pipeline will be wrapped with strong insulated materials. He said that the damage might have been caused by corrosion or stress from road repairs and other activities.

The damaged part was below a concrete box culvert that was knocked down to give way to the repair. “After containment, we are now on our second stretch of plan which is more on clean-up and remediation. We will further extract water contaminated with oil. If there are remnants of oil, we will place absorbent pads to absorb the oil,” Entico said.

He said that they will send the contaminated soil extracted from the drainage canal to a DENR-accredited treatment facility, while manholes in affected area will be checked. “We will conduct a comprehensive technical monitoring before conducting rehabilitation procedure.” The Envirocare official said.

Asked when refilling of soil to excavated areas will be done, he said it is the concern of CPDCI. “What we can do is to clean-up everything, extract debris and get soil for analysis. If the tests warrant that refilling can be done, then we will inform the proponent,” Entico said.

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