Saturday 18 November, 2017

Chaguaramas oil spill spreading to Cocorite

(Photo: Aerial view of the oil spill which occurred on Sunday October 15, 2017. Photo courtesy Asha Javeed.)

(Photo: Aerial view of the oil spill which occurred on Sunday October 15, 2017. Photo courtesy Asha Javeed.)

The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) has advised that the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI) has procured two companies to commence the clean-up of the oily substance on the shoreline and waters in the Chaguaramas area, even as spill has allegedly spread as far as Cocorite. 

It said company personnel have been on site from early Monday morning accompanied by MEEI officials.

The EMA also advised that the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) which has responsibility for the peninsula has also commenced clean-up activities of its impacted assets. 

It said the Zoological Society of Trinidad and Tobago (ZSTT), is also actively searching for adversely affected wildlife for rescue and rehabilitation.

Meanwhile, the group, Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) has issued a warning to all seafarers and fisherfolk from the Cocorite, Felicity, Brick Field, Orange Valley, Carli Bay and Claxton Bay area to exercise caution and look out for large volumes of thick black oil, following an oil spill in Chaguaramas.

The FFOS in a statement on Monday said initial area covered in oil appeared to be much larger than the city of Port of Spain but noted that, uncontained, it is spreading every second.

It added that it has received fresh reports that the oil is heading in a southerly direction in the Gulf of Paria and that it has already arrived just outside of Cocorite.

The group also called for compensation for those affected. 

(Video: Head of Fishermen and Friends of the Sea, Gary Aboud)

 

Planning Minister to support agencies in clean-up efforts

The EMA added that Planning Minister Camille Robinson-Regis is providing support to the ongoing efforts of these State Agencies involved, as the EMA, IMA and CDA fall under the ambit of her Ministry.

It said as a consequence, efforts to identify the source of the pollution and to ensure that conditions along the Chaguaramas Peninsula are normalized in the shortest possible time are proceeding apace. 

Additionally, the Authority said its personnel continue to be on site to monitor the other activities taking place.

The EMA also expressed its gratitude to those concerned members of the public who have shared information on the incident and requests that the public continue to provide information that may assist with this investigation by contacting telephone number 6809588 or email via complaints@ema.co.tt.