May 31, Colombo: The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) says only the agencies that are licensed by the CEA should be used for the removal of the hazardous waste generated by the MV X-Press Pearl ship fire. The Authority has issued the relevant guidelines and proposals.
The Authority also said that all persons managing the waste should wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and be informed of how to proceed.
Beaches and places where the debris of the ship may accumulate should be identified and designated as 'hazardous areas', and people in those areas should be informed not to touch the debris.
The CEA guidelines say as this waste can be a hazardous waste, knowledgeable officers / workers should be deployed to collect and handle the waste and ensure that they use proper safety equipment / devices and methods.
The guidelines state that immediate action should be taken to deposit the hazardous waste collected in appropriate temporary storage / containers and the Central Environmental Authority will recommend the required containers.
A security arrangement should be put in place by the police or navy to protect the waste storage areas from outsiders.
This hazardous waste must be transported using closed vehicles and drivers and persons involved must use personal protective equipment.
The guidelines also state to document the quantities and types of waste stored in temporary containers and transport them to the recommended temporary storage centers. Steps must be taken to utilize the relevant institutions licensed by the Central Environmental Authority for the hazardous waste management for the removal of the hazardous debris from the ship.
All costs incurred in this regard, including the cost of waste disposal, should be borne by the relevant shipping company, the CEA proposed.
The guidelines and proposals issued by the Central Environmental Authority state that arrangements should be made to assess the environmental damage caused by the ship's fire by economists and the cost should be recovered from the relevant parties.