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EMA probing Guaracara oil spill

The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) has launched an investigation into an oil spill in the Guaracara River, Pointe-a-Pierre.
The Authority’s compliance and enforcement unit confirmed that the river was impacted by a vacuum residue spill.
The substance did not extend to the mouth of the river and did not enter the nearby coastal waters, the EMA stated.
An incident report was submitted to the EMA by Petrotrin, which indicated an estimated five barrels of vacuum residue had spilled in the Guaracara River.
The reported source of the spill was a line from the company’s refinery, the EMA stated.
“The EMA’s team is currently conducting a site visit to ascertain the cause of the spill and to confirm containment and efficacy of the cleanup, and will also be monitoring efforts by Petrotrin to rectify the cause of this incident,” the authority stated.
Claxton Bay fishermen complained that oil had soiled a fishing vessel and net in the Gulf of Paria at the weekend. The fishermen reported that the oil may have seeped into the waters from the Guaracara River.
Claxton Bay Fishing Association president, Kishore Boodram, said the Guaracara River was polluted with oil from the nearby refinery.
He appealed to the State-owned oil company to invest in its fenceline communities.

—Carolyn Kissoon
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