DINALUPIHAN, Bataan — The Clark Pipeline and Depot Company, Inc. (CPDCI) on Friday identified the site of the damaged oil pipe that caused oil leak in this town Wednesday and continued excavation in the contained limited area.

Darwin Chan, CPDCI spokesman, in a text message said after excavation, the leak will be sealed.

The 94-kilometer oil pipeline of 10 inches in diameter runs from Subic Freeport to Clark Airbase.

It was temporarily closed since Wednesday.

Cherry Pruna, owner of a car wash facility, discovered the oil leak Wednesday morning.

Workers were seen siphoning off oil mixed with water from the portion of the drainage canal cleared of giant concrete pipes.

A source who requested not to be identified said 20 drums of 200 liters each were taken from the canal.

He said that that there is more water than diesel fuel.

Vicente Entico, Envirocare worker, said the recovered oil heavily mixed with water will be brought for laboratory test in Capas, Tarlac.

Entico said they will undertake measures in three stages – containment, mitigation and rehabilitation.

”While Clark Pipeline is looking for the leak, we are undertaking containment procedure after which we will do mitigation and rehabilitation measures,” he said.

“We have closed all the passages in the drainage canal and placed sawdust to serve as filter and spill pads. The local government unit, proponent and private partners are undertaking very extensive effort to find the leak. The area is contained and I think the damage is only minimal,” Entico said.

Romeo Vitug, chief of Dinalupihan Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, meanwhile, said excavation was going on at the pinpointed site of the leaked pipeline.

Vitug said passing through the pipelines are jet fuel, diesel and gasoline.

He said that the pipelines were first used during the time of the Americans at the then Subic naval base.

The Unites States military pulled out of Subic in 1992, leaving the pipelines intact except for pipes destroyed by lahar in Porac, Pampanga.

“But so far, the leaked pipeline has not yet been seen,” he said which was shared by San Ramon (Dinalupihan) barangay chairman Wilfredo Diwa.

Diwa said that as far as he can remember, the pipelines were laid out 48 years ago and the pipes dug six feet deep in about six meters from the center of the road.

”According to the foreman, once the leaked pipeline was found, the works will then be easy,” Diwa said.

He said that their water system was not affected based on the test made.

Mounds of soil excavated from the drainage canal were placed on drums that a worker said will be treated.

Dinalupihan Mayor Gila Garcia said she immediately mobilized municipal, provincial and national agencies involved in disaster upon learning of the fuel leak.

”We closed all the passages of the drainage so that it would not spread to the rice fields and we also gave face masks to the residents near the area,” the mayor said.

“We also made parallel test on water to make sure that it is not contaminated,” Garcia said.

Engineer Climaco Jurado of the Environment Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Region 3, on the other hand, said they have assessed the area.

“We are looking after soil and water contamination. So far, we are focused on only a 100-meter area. Our primary response is to contain the area so whatever oil spill there is will not spread. We recommended for additional containment materials like sandbags, spill booms and others,” the engineer said.

He asked that the contaminated soil be properly disposed.

“There should be continuous monitoring of affected water bodies in the drainage canal and to see to it that the surface and ground water are not affected,” Jurado said.

Meanwhile, the CPDCI made the assurance that oil supply at the Clark Airbase in Angeles City will not be affected by the temporary closure of the pipelines.

Ramie Villavicencio, CPDCI president, said they have enough oil supply at their Clark depot more than enough to last until the source of the oil leak is found and repaired. PNA/