An oil or chemical spill is one of the most devastating environmental disasters that can happen because it affects people, animals, the land and the coastal water ways. An oil spill is a release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment due to human activity and is a form of pollution. Oil spills include release of crude oil from tankers, offshore platforms, drilling rigs and wells as well as spills of refined petroleum products and their by-products, and heavier fuels used by large ships such as bunker fuel, or the spill of any oily white substance refuse or waste oil. Spills may take months or even years to clean up. They can kill marine life, destroy habitats and contaminate critical resources in the food chain. They can also wreak havoc on the economies of coastal communities by forcing the closure of fisheries, drive away tourists or cause temporarily shutting down of harbours and navigational routes such environmental and economic damages can linger for decades. A chemical spill is a situation in which a chemical is accidentally released. In the case of non-toxic chemicals, dealing with a spill is usually very straightforward, since the spill simply needs to be cleaned up. However, spills of toxic chemicals represent a more serious problem, especially in the case of spills of multiple chemicals which could react with each other.
Sri Lanka coast guard works for the prevention, reduction, control and management of pollution arising out of ship based activity and shore based maritime related activity in the territorial waters of Sri Lanka, conduct research on prevention, reduction, control and management of pollution arising out of any ship based activity, take measures to manage, safeguard and preserve the territorial waters of Sri Lanka,
The Sri Lanka Coast Guard intends to achieve the above objective through skills development of the staff to respond and manage oil/chemical spill incidents in the territorial waters of the country and equip response teams with modern international standard technical equipment to counter the increasing threat of marine pollution through oil/chemical spills.