Monday, January 22, 2018

...EMA serves notice to Petrotrin

 STATE-OWNED oil and gas provider Petrotrin was yesterday served with a notice of non-compliance by the Environmental Management Authority (EMA), following 11 oil leaks in just over two weeks.

Delivery of the notice to Petrotrin was confirmed yesterday by EMA chief executive officer (CEO), Dr Allan Bachan.

Petrotrin president Khalid Hassanali was yesterday reserved in commenting on the notice, which was sent from the EMA’s legal department.

“The notice was served and has been passed to our legal team. However, it is now a legal matter and therefore I cannot offer much comment at this time,” Hassanali said in a telephone interview.

Petrotrin has since December 17 been criticised by  conservationists, fisherfolk and the public over the 11 oil spills, the first taking place at the Pointe-a-Pierre port on December 17.

Oil from that leak was at the time disclosed by Petrotrin to be around 7,000 barrels. Another subsequent leak at the Trinity platform, a Petrotrin partner, is thought to be the source of the oil currently being cleaned up at Coffee Beach and Carrat Shed Beach in La Brea, where residents are now claiming ruin.  —See Page 10

Environment minister Ganga Singh earlier this week commented that environmental breaches had occurred as a result of the spill and the EMA would take all necessary legal  against Petrotrin where applicable.

Statements by Petrotrin that the spills were as a result of “sabotage” and that the incidents will be investigated were yesterday met with scepticism from Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS), who has called for President Anthony Carmona to take over management of what it said is a “disaster”.

The FFOS’ Gary Aboud, at a news conference in Woodford Square, Port of Spain yesterday, said hope was weak that an investigation would yield long-term protection against a repeat of last month’s spills.

“We want to know where the EMA stands on this,” Aboud said, calling on the EMA to be transparent in its treatment of Petrotrin.

Aboud added:

“We are also calling on the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service to act swiftly and thoroughly on this and to make the investigation meaningful.”