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Stearin cleanup progressing

August 10, 2017

Under Secretary for the Environment Tse Chin-wan inspected Middle Bay Beach today to see the progress of the palm stearin cleanup.


He noted the stearin floating in Hong Kong waters has been largely reduced, while the stearin washing onto beaches is gradually decreasing.


The oil content of water samples collected from beaches remaines at a low level and some beaches can be reopened by this weekend, however, he warned that trace amounts of stearin pellets remain in the sand and people should not let children and pets play with or ingest them.


He said more time is required to complete cleanup operations in areas adjacent to bathing beaches and other beaches in remote areas.


Government departments will continue to step up cleaning efforts to avoid damage to the environment and ecology.


The Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department said no mariculture or ecologically sensitive areas have been affected by the stearin spill so far, and it will continue to monitor its impact on the fishing industry and marine environment, especially in marine parks.


It has deployed an oil boom at Lo Tik Wan fish culture zone to protect the area.


About 300 government officers are conducting inspections and cleanup operations daily to contain the spill, and have collected 158 tonnes of stearin so far.

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