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FROTH AND BUBBLE
Canadian railway refuses to pay for disaster clean-up
by Staff Writers
Ottawa, Province Of Ontario (AFP) Aug 15, 2013


Oil leaks from submerged Philippine ferry
Cebu, Philippines / Philippines (AFP) Aug 18, 2013 - Philippine authorities said Sunday they were unable to stop fuel leaking from a ferry that sank, as oil spread to coastal villages, fishing grounds and mangroves more than five kilometres (three miles) away.

The St Thomas Aquinas ferry sank on Friday night after colliding with a cargo ship just outside the port in Cebu, the Philippines' second biggest city, leaving at least 34 people dead.

Authorities were focused Sunday on trying to find 85 people missing and believed inside the ferry, about 30 metres (100 feet) under water, but the leaking oil added a new front to the disaster response.

"You can see it coming out of the sunken vessel. It is bunker fuel and it is black," Cebu coastguard commander Weniel Azcuna told AFP.

"It has affected a lot of shorelines here in Cebu and (the neighbouring island of) Mactan."

He said there was about 120,000 litres (31,700 gallons) of bunker fuel, and divers had been unable to reach the source of the leak.

Among the areas affected were Lapu-Lapu City and Cordova town in Mactan island, and Talisay city in Cebu, which all host popular beach resorts.

Cordova also has protected mangrove areas while Talisay has a thriving fishing industry.

At Cordova, roots of mangroves were coated in black oil at low tide, according to an AFP reporter who visited the area, which is more than five kilometres from where the ferry sank.

Herons and egrets waded amid shallow water that had a rainbow sheen of oil.

Azcuna said that because the hole could not be plugged, the coastguard and a company contracted by the ferry operator were spraying a chemical dispersant to try and break it up.

He could not say how much of the fuel had leaked out already.

An official with the ferry operator told ABS-CBN television the company intended to bring in foreign experts who could safely pump out the remaining fuel. Photo courtesy AFP.

Canadian Pacific Railway will appeal a government order to pay for the clean-up of a deadly train derailment in Canada's Quebec province in July, a spokesman said Thursday.

"As a matter of fact, and law, CP is not responsible for this clean-up. CP will be appealing," spokesman Ed Greenberg told AFP.

A day earlier, the government of Quebec added the railway to a list of companies it says are responsible for the cleanup in Lac-Megantic where a runaway train crashed and dumped millions of litres of crude oil on July 6, forcing the evacuation of 6,000 townsfolk and killing 47 people in an inferno that burned for two days.

The order, which is backed by a provincial law that holds companies responsible for environmental damage, said CP had subcontracted the smaller railway involved in the crash to carry crude oil from the Bakken shale fields of North Dakota in 72 tanker cars to an Irving Oil refinery in New Brunswick.

Miami-based petroleum-logistics firm World Fuels Services, which owned the oil, was also named in the order.

Quebec authorities had previously asked Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA), the owner and operator of the train, to pay for the cleanup of the area at the centre of the town devastated by the blast.

But MMA filed for bankruptcy protection after the crash, saying that its insurance coverage was only $25 million while the estimated cleanup costs would exceed $200 million.

MMA's chairman has said the disaster appeared to have been caused by an engineer's failure to properly set hand brakes on the train during a stop. Officials are still investigating.

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FROTH AND BUBBLE
Following marine oil leakage, Thailand tightens regulations
Bangkok (UPI) Aug 14, 2013
The Thai government is tightening environmental regulations in the wake of last month's massive oil spill. The July 27 leak occurred in PTT Global Chemical Plc's pipeline at a mooring used to transfer oil from the seabed to a tanker off the eastern province of Rayong, threatening a major tourist site, Ao Prao beach on the island of Koh Samet. Roughly 13,200 gallons of oil leaked into th ... read more


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