Thursday 26 November, 2020

FFOS blames Petrotrin employees and management for oil spill

The Fishermen and Friends of the Sea is accusing employees and management at Petrotrin of being responsible for Friday’s oil spill into the Guaracara River and the Gulf of Paria.

FFOS Corporate Secretary Gary Aboud said since 2003 there were reports that tank number 70 had a dangerous leak that would eventually rupture. He said the tank contained 150,000 barrels of oil with high levels of sulphur, vanadium, nickel and nitrogen, some of which are highly flammable, some of which are dangerous, toxic poisons.

Aboud said employees and management were well aware of the storage tank’s components and flaws however, they never addressed the problem.

 “Workers and managers knew that leak was reported over and over and yet nothing was done. Today these same workers and managers continue to work at these facilities even though they are solely responsible for these ongoing and dangerous disasters.”

The FFOS Corporate Secretary also slammed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration who he said had a specific responsibility to inspect the 122 tanks in that particular Petrotrin tank field, including tank 70.

He said under the Freedom of Information Act, FFOS has submitted a request for copies of all reports on tank 70 and questioned whether these reports would be hidden under exempt clauses as he said public safety is never a private matter.

Aboud also accused the government of not taking anyone to task for the oil spills that continue to occur under state-owned Petrotrin.

“No one is being held accountable and so month after month, over and over, public health is being compromised and the Parliamentarians are failing to legislate, to force public officers to do their jobs and keep transparent records.”

He said cosmetic cleanups don’t solve problems which is evident by the continuous oil spills into the Gulf of Paria.

Aboud echoed the OWTU’s call for a managerial overhaul of the procedures and protocols conducted by Petrotrin.

He also pleaded with BP and BG to assist in this process to come to T&T's rescue as he said Petrotrin continues to fail, adding that this ‘national embarrassment’ must be addressed rather than playing politics with public health. 

Related articles:

Petrotrin refinery spill 'largely contained'

Video: Environmental groups say oil spill leaking out to sea, affecting wildlife 

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