Progress of cleaning up palm stearin (with photos)
Mr Tse said, as observed from the inspections today, the palm stearin floating in Hong Kong waters had been largely reduced whereas that washed onto beaches was gradually decreasing. The oil content of water samples collected from beaches concerned remained at a low level. Given that the situation had been getting more stable, it is envisaged that some of the affected beaches could be re-opened by this weekend. He particularly pointed out that although those beaches considered for re-opening had been cleaned up by and large, there might still be trace amount of palm stearin pellets remained in the sand. Members of the public should stay alert when using the re-opened beaches, and not to let children and pets play with or ingest the palm stearin pellets collected for the sake of safety.
Mr Tse considered that the current cleanup at bathing beaches had shown good progress, but more time would be required to complete the cleanup operations at areas adjacent to the bathing beaches as well as other beaches in remote areas. The Government departments will continue to step up their cleaning efforts, with a view to recovering these coastal areas as soon as possible and avoiding causing impact on the environment and ecology.
On the other hand, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) did not find any mariculturist or ecologically sensitive areas being affected by the incident so far, and will continue to monitor the impact on the fishing industry and the marine environment, especially that of waters with important ecological value such as marine parks. The AFCD deployed an oil boom at Lo Tik Wan fish culture zone for preventing palm stearin from entering the fish culture zone. As to the suspected red tide near Lamma Island discovered by some members of the public, the AFCD has taken proactive steps to collect water samples from the site concerned for testing. The results confirmed that there was no red tide.
Currently, the Marine Department, the LCSD, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, the AFCD and the Environmental Protection Department deployed around 300 staff members in total for conducting inspections and cleanup on a daily basis to tackle with this palm stearin leakage incident. As at 12 noon today, the government departments collected some 158 tonnes (158 000 kilograms) of palm stearin recovered on the sea surface and at the beaches, of which around half of it was scavenged from sea.
Ends/Thursday, August 10, 2017
Issued at HKT 22:53
Issued at HKT 22:53
Progress of cleaning up palm oil USEN inspects beaches affected by palm oil on Lamma Island (with photos) Progress of cleaning up palm stearin (with photos) Progress of cleaning up palm stearin (with photos) Progress of cleaning up palm stearin Progress of cleaning up palm stearin Progress of cleaning up palm stearin Progress of cleaning up palm stearin Progress of cleaning up palm stearin Progress of cleaning up palm stearin Progress of cleaning up palm stearin