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Search Finding Oil Deposits on a Suffolk Beach Set to Start

todayOctober 15, 2021 4

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Investigation work will begin at Gunton next week to establish the extent of the historic oil deposits buried in the beach. 

Beginning on Monday 18th October, specialist contractors are expected to be on site at Lowestoft’s North Beach – where they will undertake detailed site investigations to locate and quantify oil deposits, which have been left on the shore following the Eleni V spill back in 1978.  

Expected to take one week, the work is said to involve a tracked rig moving along the affected area of beach, probing at intervals to detect the deposits. 

People are asked to take care if visiting the beach whilst the rig is operational.  

Councillor James Mallinder, cabinet member for the Environment at East Suffolk District Council said: “Establishing the extent of the buried oil deposits will give us the information necessary to make a detailed assessment of the risks they pose to beach users and the wider environment. What happens next will depend on the results of our analysis of the findings of the survey work. Any excavations at the site may affect the rate of coastal erosion, and the surrounding environment, and so any decision about removing the deposits will be carefully considered.” 

Earlier this year, large outcrops of oil were exposed following a spate of high tides and some of the loose drier material was removed by East Suffolk Norse, working with a specialist disposal company. During the summer, the beach has built up, re-covering the previously exposed material. Any freshly exposed material will be dealt with in a similar manner. 

Anyone  concerned by any exposed material on the beach is asked to call 03330 162000. 

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