About 200 Common Eiders Covered in Oil

Vala Hafstað

About 200 common eiders, covered in oil, some of them dead, have been found in the village Suðureyri in Súgandafjörður fjord, the West Fjords, following an oil spill there a week ago, Morgunblaðið reports.

More than 9,000 liters (2,400 gallons) of oil leaked from a tank near the heating station of the Westfjord Power Company.

Work is underway to clean up oil from the harbor, where there is considerable pollution, in addition to oil on the beach. Still, it doesn’t look like much soil will need to be replaced.

The leaking oil tank was near the Suðureyri Swimming Pool and a nearby pond. On Monday, assistance was requested from the Environment Agency of Iceland, and subsequently, a floating pen was installed.

Sigríður Kristinsdóttir, team leader at the Agency, states that most of the oil that spilled into the pond was cleaned up. All sorts of devices were used to capture oil from  the harbor area.

Valur Richter was asked to collect the birds affected by the oil spill. He states that residents were able to take care of some of the birds in their homes.

In a statement, the Westfjord Power Company apologizes to residents for damages caused to the environment in Súgandafjörður fjord, due to the oil leak. The company thanks residents for their participation in the cleaning efforts and for saving birds.

The oil tank has been removed and replaced with a new one, according to the statement. The company has begun assessing the condition all its oil tanks near heating stations and reserve power generators in the West Fjords. In addition, work processes regarding the announcement of oil leaks and reaction to them are being reviewed.

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