Apr 03, 2012, The Asian Age
A mammoth 300,000-tonne US tanker, responsible for one of the US worst oil spill off the coast of Alaska, is suspected to have made an illegal entry into Indian waters.
This tanker, whose most recent name is Oriental Nicety, and which has had many names in the past, including Exxon Valez, Exxon Mediterranean, Sea River Mediterranean and Dong Fang Ocean, has been banned entry in both the US and European waters.
Oriental Nicety has been reportedly purchased for $16 million by a Gujarat-based company, Best Oasis, which is a subsidiary of Priya Blue Industries located in Alang. Following the 1989 oil spill in which this tanker offloaded nearly 11 million gallons of crude oil in Alaska (described as US’ second-worst environmental disaster), the owners of the ship had to fork out $ 507.5 million in environmental damages and spend over $30 million in repairing this ship.
Gopal Krishna of Toxics Watch Alliance points out, “This purchase is in violation of the Supreme Court order of 2003 that states all ships must be pre-cleaned before they enter the Indian water. It is also in violation of the UN’s Basel Convention on Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal of which India is a signatory.”
The US National Steel and Shipbuilding Company originally built this tanker for the US multinational Exxon Mobil Corporation.
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