Even as the search continues for any further survivors of the Costa Concordia accident, questions are being asked about the potential environmental impact.
We have a big ship with tanks full of fuel, aground on an island in a sea fringed with natural protected areas. So the worst case scenario is pretty bad.
Elena Moutier, a scientific consultant working at the park, told BBC News that an oil spill there would be a disaster. ”The Maremma Park is one of the most important regional parks in Italy, for the landscape, the ecosystem and the richness in endemic species of plants and animals,” she said.
However, all of this is in the realms of the potential, not the actual. As far as we are aware- and sources including the salvage company Smit and environmental group WWF concur- there has been no fuel spillage so far.
The big risk in the meantime would be if the vessel began breaking up. However, during a news conference on Tuesday morning, contractors were optimistic that it would not.