As Member of Parliament for the Constituency of Pointe a Pierre I am greatly concerned by yet another Oil Spill emerging out of State Company Petrotrin’s refinery. As reported over 20,000 gallons of Oil from a storage tank has now made its way into the surrounding water ways specifically the Guaracara River and Gulf of Paria. This situation presents grave repercussions to the individuals who live within the surrounding areas such as the Batto Avenue Community in Marabella as it poses significant Health hazards due to the increased exposure of hydrocarbon releases in the atmosphere.
A critical question that must be asked at this time is if Petrotrin has sought to offer any medical outreach to the surrounding communities to ascertain the level of risk posed to the health of residents. We have seen instances of discourtesy in the past where for prolonged periods residents have not received the adequate level of medical attention during these occurrences. I am therefore calling on the State Company to ensure that all is done to provide the needed health care within the community to ascertain if citizens are or can be affected by the prevailing environmental conditions.
As Member of Parliament I am furthered perturbed that in these tough economic times the fishermen of my constituency and all those whose livelihoods depend on the sea stand the chance of being negatively impacted for another consecutive year due to an oil spill. It is my hope that the authorities communicate with the Local Fisherman association to inform them of the extent of the spill while those in authority work with the Fishermen to protect their trade from being hampered.
Reports of Oil spills from Petrotrin are becoming a routine within this part of the country and it is critical that the management and leadership team at both the state company and Ministry of Energy critically assess, review and re-evaluate the functioning of each component of Petrotrin’s operations to ensure this problem is curtailed.
As the Member of Parliament for the area in which both the refinery is located and where the oil spill has occurred, I am calling for a full, transparent and timely investigation into the causes of this oil spill to determine if this was a result of poor maintenance or incompetence and the result of this to be subsequently reported to the national community coupled with the plans to prevent further reoccurrences.
Dr. David Lee,
Chairman, United National Congress & Member of Parliament for Pointe-a-Pierre.