EPA probing oil spill in Male’ lagoon

The oil spilled near presidential jetty area. (Photo / MNDF)

Environment Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday revealed that a joint investigation by the agency, Coastguard and other relevant authorities has commenced into the oil spilling into Male’ lagoon.

Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) received reports of large amounts of oil spilling into the area between the presidential jetty and jetty number three at around 0910 hrs of Sunday, January 1, 2023.

Subsequently, Coastguard divers and the oil pollution response team kicked off the task to remove the spilt oil.

MNDF has said earlier that the oil near Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) has been brought under control, adding that efforts to remove the spilt contents close to the presidential jetty were ongoing with the use of a boom.

Speaking about this with Sun, the Director General of EPA Ibrahim Naeem said that although there is not much life in this lagoon, there will be some damage due to this incident.

“EPA will now look into how this happened. It will be done with Coastguard and other [relevant authorities]”

Naeem went on to note that spilling oil was prohibited, and if done, would lead to fining.

Additionally, he said that it is believed that a passing vessel threw out the oil into the ocean, and gathered into the lagoon with the current.

According to MNDF, 1000 litres of oil have been spilt into the lagoon. They also revealed that so far, about 400 litres have been retracted.