Categorized | National News

Officials Satisfied With Oil Spill Cleanup

Government officials are satisfied that cleanup efforts in relation to that oil spill off Grand Bahama last week have progressed well.

On Friday, Minister of Transport and Aviation, Glenys Hanna-Martin along with several other officials from the Department of Environmental Health Services and other government agencies did a fly over of the area to make an assessment of the cleanup efforts.

“When the incident first happened we flew over and a determination was made that we would have allowed natural forces to run its course with this tier one incident,” Minister Hanna-Martin told reporters after the fly over.

“There was a second over flight on Thursday which confirmed what we saw. We will continue to monitor this situation. We have spoken to officials from the United States to ensure that we are on the same page. I feel that we need to continue to be vigilant, alert and monitor this to ensure that this is completely dissipated and we are able to conduct an investigation.”

About 3,000 gallons of oil was spilt into Bahamian waters when the Panamanian flag ship – “The Eugenia” left the Freeport Harbour early Monday morning.

During a news conference on Thursday, officials of the Oil Spill Committee confirmed that they were continuing their investigations into how the spill occurred.

The spill occurred around 4:10 a.m. Monday when seaman noticed a sheen emanating from the ship.

Mrs. Hanna-Marin said once an investigation is complete, she will take a report to Parliament barring any legal issues.

“We will also share information with the public as it arises,” she said.

Consultant with the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, Brent Williamson, said the ministry has engaged a consultant on the ground to ensure protection of the environment.

“MSC [the company responsible for the ship] has been cooperative and have brought in numerous agencies,” he said.

“We are satisfied that the appropriate agencies are in place and we will continue to monitor this situation. The fly over was a good indication that the situation is under control. The coastline is very clear and there was no oil on the ship hulls so we feel confident that the situation is well under control and extremely well-managed.”

He also explained that if there had been a tier three spill, the oil would have still been visible.

“We would have seen oil from miles away,” Mr. Williamson said.

Assistant Director in the Department of Environmental Health Services, Dwayne Curtis, said his department will also leave officials on the ground to continue to monitor any impact on the environment.

“There will be continual monitoring of this situation,” he said.

“We are satisfied that environmental aspects will be affected. It’s a short-lived incident. If the spill was larger then we would have much more of an impact. We don’t expect that we will see much of an impact at all and the Freeport Harbour Company also assisted us and they have been very forthcoming with us during this entire ordeal.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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