Somewhere between ‘Are you ready?” and “shhh!…The child’s asleep”.

19 Jan 2012

The maritime prefect of the Mediterranean has chosen the right option: the first. They have deployed anti-pollution measures in Corsica to counter the possible arrival of oil from the Costa Concordia wreck. Italy has yet to do the same for Sardinia and the Elba. It is noted here and there that there are recommendations on the use of dispersants. In an environment as fragile and rich in biodiversity, this toxins product is not recommended.

Faced with soothing words from several stakeholders, Robin des Bois emphasises that pollutants and floating debris in the marine sub-region encircled by Italy and France can float hundreds of kilometres.

Fuel oil, diesel, lubricants and hydraulic oils are not the only pollutant liquids on board the wreck. We must not forget the wastewater.

The Costa Concordia is a, currently closed, aquatic dustbin – 300m long, 35m wide and 13 decks high. It is full of furniture, food, medical, personal hygiene and clothing waste. It also contains chlorine pools, waste electric and electronic equipment and special household waste. This includes: thousands of kilometres of cables; carpets and synthetic fabrics; Km2 of brominated flame retardant and hectares of mixed plastic and glass.

It follows that after the total loss of an oversized cruise ship – a workplace and second home to 4,300 people – to take steps to avoid all categories of pollutants and waste spreading into the sea. Like with fuels, the Costa Concordia dump must be subject to a management plan.

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