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A 15-metre gash in the stern of the carrier was opened in Thursday's storm. ((Department of Natural Resources))

The water surrounding a grounded and damaged bulk carrier off Cape Breton has been deemed safe by federal and provincial environment officials.

An environmental assessment was done Saturday near Scatarie Island, where the 230-metre MV Miner has been grounded since Sept. 20.

Karen White,  a spokeswoman for the Nova Scotia Department of Environment, said there were no observations of any release of fuels or oily water from the vessel.

"At this time, there is no concern about environmental impacts to the beach from petroleum-based products," said White in a statement to CBC News. 

A salvage company has been hired to remove the remaining 3,000 litres of oily water from the vessel, which White said may happen over the long weekend.

The Greek tugboat Hellas was towing the Miner in rough seas on Sept. 20 when a line broke. The old carrier, which was en route to Turkey to be scrapped, has been grounded near Scatarie Island ever since.

The area, off eastern Cape Breton, is known for its shipwrecks.

There have been several unsuccessful attempts to re-float the ship.

On Friday, the province detained the tug and sheriffs served a federal court order against the Hellas late Thursday afternoon after the province filed a $15-million claim.

The Canadian Coast Guard, which has been monitoring the salvage effort, spotted a 15-metre wide hole in the stern and a hole in the side near a cargo hatch, caused by a storm last Thursday.

Since then, there has been environmental concern about oily waste water leaking into the water, a sensitive lobster-fishing. A salvage company has already removed 6,000 litres of engine oil and diesel fuel.