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XIII

ALDURIA’S BEACHES ON PATH TO RECOVER FROM ALKHIVAN OIL SPILL

Not yet clear how much oil remains in water, sediment, and seabed yet

ALKHIVA, ALDURIA -- Nouvelle Alexandrie’s Department of Energy and Environment announced today that they have advised the regional government of Alduria to lift the temporary state of emergency due to a massive oil spill of the Alkhivan coast last year.

Intensive clean-up efforts have restored 96 percent of the beaches and waters along the affected area to usable condition, the Department said in a statement.

“After an especially intense last 10 months, we are moving to the next stage and continuing to support coastal authorities in their work to clean and remove any further tar or pollution,” said Department of Energy and Environment Spokesperson Karla Gertrude.

As of time of press, over 650 tons of mixed tar have been removed from the beaches and waters along the affected area. (Area highlighted in yellow on attached map.)

The Department of Energy and Environment also said it would work with local authorities to set up diving teams to locate masses of tar underwater, as well as look into the possibility of conducting an underwater cleaning campaign based on the results of that effort.

The aftermath of the oil spill is difficult to predict, however, as it is not yet clear how much remains in the water, sediment and sea-bed. “We expect in the future to find some pollution in sediments and in the deep sea,” Gertrude predicted of the upcoming sea dives to survey the ocean floor. "We will continue to provide assistance and boost funding for additional research and new technologies." The expedition is expected to take place in the coming month. Scientists and officials will “collect sediments and look for chemical signals of crude oil and see if bacteria were affected by the pollution.”

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