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PM: Some concerns about whether sufficient action taken at Equinor site

THE EQUINOR site after the spill in 2019.

THE EQUINOR site after the spill in 2019.


PRIME Minister Philip “Brave” Davis acknowledged that there are some concerns about whether sufficient action was taken at the Equinor site in Grand Bahama where 55,000 barrels of oil spilled during Hurricane Dorian in 2019.

He said his administration would ensure due diligence was done.

“We are aware that there are some concerns about whether what they did was sufficient and we will be looking at it and we are right now in the process of considering an exchange of hands and when they do that, we will take a look at the consequential damage that may have been done to that area,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event at the Atlantis resort.

He had been asked by a reporter if his administration would look into the spill, which took place when the Minnis administration was in power.

In July, East Grand Bahama MP Kwasi Thompson asked the government about the status of the possible sale of Equinor and whether it would ensure that sufficient funds are left in place to clean up any remaining oil spill in East End.

And earlier this year, activist Joseph Darville called for more vigilance concerning the rehabilitation of the area affected by the Equinor oil spill.

After visiting the area in January, Mr Darville expressed his concern about the treated soil in that area by Equinor.

He told The Tribune in January: “The area covered with that (treated) soil. I am wondering what they are going to do there now? Are they going to replant something in that area, possibly pine trees?”

Mr Darville said the area in question is probably about 150 acres from the roadside in the front of the plant and extends north into the forest.

“They (Equinor) took up all the ground soil, including the residual oil they were not able to suck up, and transported it onto their property. They were rehabilitating it; they were trying to get rid of the oil content. They brought it back and spread it out over that area, and people who frequent the area have reported to me that it smells of petroleum,” he said.

Mr Darville thinks that monitoring was neglected by the previous administration.

Regarding another environmental incident, Attorney General Ryan Pinder said earlier this week that his ministry was preparing paperwork to “bring action” following investigations into the various agencies involved in the Exuma oil spill.

“The Office of the Attorney General has collected all of the applicable reports from the agencies, including the police, the Port Department and from DEPP (Department of Environmental Planning and Protection) and have gone through this in respect to potential liability,” Mr Pinder said on Wednesday.

The oil spill happened as a vessel contracted by Sun Oil was offloading fuel to Bahamas Power and Light at George Town.

The leakage was said to have happened as a result of a “breach in the hose” that ran from the supply ship.

Following the incident, government officials pledged that those responsible for the spill would “pay” after investigations had been completed.