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Black sludge covers Greek island beaches after oil spill

Oil spill reported in Great Kills Harbor, USA

Emergency officials were summoned to Great Kills Harbor Tuesday afternoon after a report of an oil spill.
The incident was reported at 1:20 p.m. at the gas dock at the foot of Mansion Avenue, according to an FDNY spokesman.
Responders put a layer of foam on the oil and pumped it into a barrel, the spokesman said.
There were no injuries initially reported.
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State Of Emergency Declared Due To Oil Spillage Of 250,000 gallons In Alabama and Georgia, USA

State Of Emergency
At least 250,000 gallons of gasoline have spilled following a pipeline rupture in central Alabama. Emergency responders are working to repair the spill, while Alabama and Georgia have declared a state of emergency due to possible fuel shortages.
The spill, equivalent to 6,000 barrels, took place in a rural area southwest of Helena, Alabama, and was first noticed Friday. A spokesman for Colonial Pipeline said the spill has affected an area about two acres in size, Birmingham’s WBRC-TV reported.
According to local media, the spill is located near Lindsey’s Crossing in Shelby County, about 28 miles southwest of Birmingham.
Over 600 responders have been sent to the area and are working around the clock to locate the leak’s origin and repair the pipeline, Colonial spokesman Bill Berry said. Most of the spill has been contained in water retention ponds, and there is no concern for public safety, the spokesman said.
“It’s not safe for our workers to recover much product off of the pond due to gasoline vapors,” Berry added. “It’s a challenge for us to do much because the vapors are not at safe levels for human health. So that presents a challenge to say how much has been released.”
Environmental Protection Agency personnel at the site said that local residents were not in danger and that the spill was unlikely to contaminate the nearby Cahaba River, which is home to a number of endangered species, reported.
Federal authorities have imposed a no-fly zone above the affected area, to “protect responders, personnel and public,” and closed a nearby shooting range as a “precaution.” Local authorities are also blocking vehicles from accessing the trails near the leak site.
The 5,500-mile long pipeline runs from Houston, Texas to New York City and normally carries 1.3 million barrels of refined gasoline and other petroleum products a day. It has been shut down since last Friday due to the spill, which may impact the fuel supplies in a number of states.
“Based on current projections and consultations with industry partners, parts of Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina will be the first markets to be impacted by any potential disruption in supply,” Colonial Pipeline said in a statement.
Georgia and Alabama have already declared a state of emergency in response to the spill, seeking to keep the gas prices from skyrocketing.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, this is the largest gasoline spill for Colonial Pipeline since the 1996 disaster, when 22,800 barrels spilled into Reedy River near Simpsonville, South Carolina. Between that and six other spills, Colonial was fined $34 million in 2003, the largest civil penalty in EPA history.
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Oil Spill Spreads to Costa Rica, Threatening Biodiversity

Oil Spill Alert
The environmental disaster is now an international catastrophe almost a week after a fire started in a biodiversity-rich mangrove off Nicaragua’s Pacific coast.
Multinational oil company Puma Energy may be responsible for a major oil spill over the weekend in the tourist destination Puerto Sandino, on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast, contaminating nearly a mile of mangroves and now the coasts of Honduras and Costa Rica.
Costa Rica University oceanographer Omar Lizano reported Monday that the oil had reached the Gulf of Fonseca, shared by the three Central American countries, and was now affecting the beaches and mangroves’ exceptional biodiversity.
The spill followed an explosion involving two of the company’s four tanks that stored oil-derived products, the local environment group Humboldt Center said at a press conference over the weekend. The center demanded immediate measures to at least slow down what it described as ongoing environmental damage.
“There is an important oil spill, whose precise volume remains unknown, but 1 kilometer square of mangrove water is filled with oil, the fauna has been affected,” said Humboldt Center’ director Victor Campos.
Beside the mangroves, the oil was also swept into the ocean while the tide rose. Corpses of fish, turtles and crabs started accumulating everywhere, reported La Prensa.
The fire started Wednesday afternoon in one of the tank, which exploded, and spread a few hours later to a second tank. Because of the oil-derived products, the fire did not stop before Saturday.
“The oil can seriously contaminate water because it dissolves itself in it,” added Campos, as oil is likely to contaminate the superficial water, but also the underground reserves. “We cannot evaluate the damage, all we could do now is an evaluation process, and then find solutions—which usually take years—the damages depend on the type of oil.”
He also called the Environment Ministry and the Environmental Prosecutor to open an investigation into whether there was a case of environmental crime, who was responsible and who would have to pay the Nicaraguan state financial compensations for the damages.
The Sandinista government implemented an action plan on Friday in a bid to control the fire and provide health care to the residents. In a joint press conference with Puma Energy, the government also announced a range of measures to address the contamination.
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