Civil Defense volunteers and security forces inspect the coastline. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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At 8 a.m. on May 1, Pierre Azzi was standing on the beach at Sandsrock, the resort his family owns a few kilometers north of Sidon.For Azzi, however, the answer is clear: The oil spill, which according to an investigation by the Environment Ministry accumulated mainly on his beach, occurred while the STI Rotherhithe unloaded fuel oil to the Jiyyeh power plant, operated by the state-run Electricite to Liban.NO FINGERS POINTEDThe day after the oil spill, the Environment Ministry dispatched a team to investigate.Olfat Hamdan, who headed of the Environment Ministry's investigation into the oil spill, told The Daily Star that the mixture was predominantly fuel oil.If neither the plant nor the ship is responsible for the oil spill, who is?A source familiar with the Environment Ministry investigation told The Daily Star Wednesday that the samples taken matched the oil used to power ships. The source said many ships store this oil on board in tankers that are cleaned regularly. The Environment Ministry's team noted that the pollution barely affected the stretch of beach between the Jiyyeh power plant and Sandsrock, while the manager of Mina Beach, a resort just several hundred meters south of Sandsrock, estimated that it received only about 10 percent of the oil spill.Still, Azzi will not be content until a culprit for the spill is found.
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