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 MEPA succesfully co-ordinates clean up of oil spill at Wied Santa Katarina

Earlier this month, an oil spill from an adjacent industrial site in the valley of Santa Katarina limits of Mosta could have left long lasting environment consequences had it not been for the rapid response and co-ordination efforts carried out by both the Environment Protection and Enforcement Directorates within MEPA.

The incident came to the Authority’s attention after the Police Department informed MEPA officials that an oil spill from a 45-gallon drum in an adjacent yard at Wied Santa Katarina had occurred. MEPA officers immediately assessed the extent of the spill and took all the necessary steps to ensure that the spill will be contained. Following the implementation of these measures, the Authority started to co-ordinate a full operation to ensure that the clean up will be carried out in an environmentally safe manner and that all wastes arising from this clean up will be managed appropriately and to avoid further adverse impacts on the valley system. In order to ensure that the clean up is carried out professionally and with the utmost urgency, Mepa called in a private company which has the expertise and appropriate equipment to deal with similar situations, to assist in the operation. Within the short timeframe of two days, all the oil had been successfully removed.

The operator of the yard is fully cooperating with the Authorities and will be covering the costs of the entire operation. The Authority had to appoint a private company to assist in the clean up operation, after Mepa was informed by the Civil Protection Department that did not have the necessary equipment to deal with such incidents. Mepa is awaiting the outcome of the Police investigation before deciding what appropriate action to take against the operator.