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Following an alert of pollution on the Orihuela Costa last week, the sample of deposits collected by the environmental department has been tested, and has been proven to be non-toxic.

A statement based on the analysis of the sample stated that the four beaches affected by the arrival of an oil spill off the coast of Orihuela would reopen to bathers, and that “The Council has received the results of the analysis of water samples from the Enac Ensayos Lab Aqua and found no hydrocarbons, normal pH and normal oxygen content”, and so the green flags were hoisted once again on the beaches of Mil Palmeras, Barranco Rubio, Aguamarina and Campoamor.

The matter found on the beach was originally thought to have come from the ships partaking in the NATO training Mine Detection exercise ‘Spanish Minex’ taking place off the Orihuela Costa, although a statement issued by the Ministry of Defence denied any part in the appearance of the discharge.

In a statement, the ministry said that “In response to press reports about the appearance of discharges to the beaches of Orihuela, the Navy denies that it came from any Spanish or allied nation´s vessels” taking part in the Spanish Minex-14 exercise.

The ministry also pointed out that during the exercise, the Navy is simultaneously performing a clean-up operation on the seabed in the area, after two separate surveys were carried out by the Department of the Environment and Conservation, and did not detect any anomalies.

The statement continued to explain how “The Navy operates a comprehensive control system to prevent dumping at sea that could harm the environment and meets the rigorous International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, MARPOL. Moreover, all Navy ships are assigned the task of conducting surveillance and maritime security in national waters when they are not performing other specific operations, one of the functions of this is the monitoring control of waste disposal from ships transiting our waters”.

For the Orihuela Costa, the event at least led to the protocol for dealing with such a potential incident being implemented, all with the aim of ensuring the safety of beachgoers, and will at least have served as both a training and analysis exercise should a real emergency ever occur. Explaining the actions taken during the alert, the councillor for the coast, Martina Scheurer, told The Leader that things “can always be improved”, but “on the whole it all went well”.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/44917/

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