Pollutants in Baltic Sea deemed non-hazardous - Lithuanian environmental authority

  • 2020-06-16
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - The pollutants detected in the Baltic Sea on Monday are non-hazard, and no fine will be issued, Lithuania's Environmental Protection Department said.

"There will be no fine as there was no violation. The pollutants are non-hazards and dissolve completely," Jurgita Jasiuniene, spokeswoman for the department, told BNS.

According to the department, Latvia's Coastguard Service inspected the ION M tanker and found that it had transported palm oil which is attributed to non-hazardous pollutants, and following the offloading, the containers were washed with heated-up sea water and released into the sea.

Environment protection officers says international documents do not ban releasing washing wastewater into seas, but the crew failed to adhere to good practices 

According to the Lithuanian Environmental Protection Department, such wastewater must be accepted in the Port of Klaipeda without any additional charge, adding that such rules are in places in other Baltic Sea countries.

The incident was reported by the Lithuanian Navy on Monday.

The ION M tanker was around 56 kilometers off the coast when it entered Lithuanian waters from Latvian waters, leaving behind an oil slick, a third of which was in Lithuanian waters.

The oil slick covered an area of around five square kilometers and was detected by the Sentinel satellite of the European Maritime Safety Agency.   

The Navy dispatched a helicopter to inspect the site for possible pollution.