Categorized | National News

Pintard: Gov’t Failed to Disclose Oil Spill Dangers

According to Free National Movement Chairman (FNM) Michael Pintard, the current government has failed to provide full and frank disclosure to residents in the Marathon area concerning a life threatening oil spill.

Senator Pintard told The Bahama Journal in an exclusive interview that he was interrupted nearly a dozen times by Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson when he began to shed light on the issue during his contribution in the Senate.

“In my estimation, the attorney general went to great lengths to hinder my making a full and frank disclosure on those matters to the best of my knowledge. I find it quite interesting that much of what I said including the fact that the government did not hold any town meetings to educate members of that community and that those meetings suddenly happened after those disclosures in the Senate,” Mr. Pintard said.

He added that two meetings were held in quick succession after the situation was exposed which he states should have taken place a year ago.

He deemed the PLP government’s decision to withhold the information from residents a failure in its duty as a regulator and protector of the public’s health.

“They have advised persons to sue the station as if persons would not be wise enough if they’re thinking of a class action suit to include the government. It begs the question; does this condition exist around other petroleum stations? Should other residents have concerns about their health?” he said.

Additionally, Mr. Pintard criticized the Christie administration for spending millions on the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival as opposed to testing persons who have been affected by the oil spill.

He noted that the FNM is in contact with officials who will perform a scientific study as to the adverse effects of long exposures to benzene.

“While a month and a half may not be devastating to one’s health, we are led to believe that 150 or 160 days dramatically increases the risk to individuals, and so a year exponentially increased that risk,” Mr. Pintard said.

“On what basis would a government not reveal information about the potential adverse effects of benzene on the residents in the area? At a minimum, the government should’ve ensured that persons were tested. Have you heard any nonsense like this before? They did not have the resources to test people who may have been exposed to some carcinogen. You have $9 million to spend on carnival,” he added.

Mr. Pintard suggested that instances of this sort could be a contributing factor to high levels of cancer in The Bahamas.
A report from the Bahamas Environment, Science and Technology (BEST) Commission did, in fact, find the cancer causing agent benzene in samples taken from the spill that seeped into the water table in the Marathon area as a result of an oil spill at the Rubis Service station on Robinson and Old Trail Roads.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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