Company urged to clean up oil spill

The Wisnu Foundation has urged PT Indonesia Power to thoroughly clean remnants of oil from mangrove trees caused by a leak in a pipeline belonging to the company near Benoa Port in Denpasar and replace the mangroves that had died. The foundation, which is a Bali-based NGO working on environmental and resource management initiatives, was referring to dozens of liters of oil that leaked from the company’s pipeline earlier this month. Indonesia Power is a subsidiary of state electricity company PT PLN. The company has eight units that oversee its 127 power plants across the country, with Indonesia Power being its largest.

The pipeline leaked marine fuel oil and high speed diesel used to generate electricity on the island and was predicted to have contaminated 2 hectares of mangrove forest and the surrounding waters. Foundation chairman Made Suarnatha said the company must take responsibility for the environmental damage it had caused. “Indonesia Power violated the law as well as its Amdal [environmental impact analysis], and could face prosecution,” he told Bali Daily over the phone on Wednesday. Suarnatha said the foundation would continue to monitor the location to see whether Indonesia Power took responsibility and cleaned the area.

He said the foundation would take legal action if the area remained contaminated. “We have the right [to sue the firm], as does everybody else,” he said. “It has to clean up immediately because the environment may be further harmed.” The company revealed that the first leak appeared on Jan. 25. After repairs, however, there was a further leaked on Feb. 5. I Wayan Sukerena, Indonesia Power’s Bali environmental division head, said the leaking had been stopped and the pipeline was back in use. Sukerena said the leak was initially undetected due to its small size and its location under the bridge heading toward the Denpasar tollgate.

As a follow up to the cleaning, Sukerena said the foundation would hold a large-scale greening program — involving company employees, organizations and locals — around the impacted area as well as other locations and plant more mangrove trees to replace those that had died due to the leak. Gusti Agung Ngurah Subawa Putra, Indonesia Power Bali general manager, said the company had worked with the Mangrove Care Forum (FPM) to rehabilitate the impacted area. Sukerena could not be reached for comment on the Wisnu Foundation’s stance.

Despite the company’s pledge to clean up, Suarnatha, said: “It can say it cleaned up the area, but it’s difficult to remove remnants of oil unless done seriously and continuously.” He said he would wait to see whether Indonesia Power was committed to resolving the issue. Meanwhile, a member of Bali Legislative Council Commission III overseeing agriculture and tourism, Ida Bagus Parta, also expressed concern over the matter. “We demand that Indonesia Power take this environmental pollution matter seriously so as to prevent the oil from spreading and killing more mangroves,” he said on Tuesday as quoted by Antara news agency.

source : bali daily

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