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Jones wants closure at Gibbons

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Acting Prime Minister Ronald Jones has voiced concern about the continuing problems facing farmers in Gibbons, Christ Church and neighbouring areas.He said in the House of Assembly yesterday that there had been no “closure” to the problems associated with a big fuel leak.The troubles date back to 1995, when the Shell oil company’s pipeline from Oistins at the Grantley Adams International Airport leaked aviation fuel into a 180-acre stretch of farmland in Christ Church.Shell accepted responsibility for the leak and after several years of wrangling started paying compensation in 2008.Farmers continue to complain that the leakage reduced the fertility of their soil, causing sharply reduced production.They said too that water wells had been contaminated along with the water melons, sweet potatoes, Chinese cabbage, squash and other vegetables.“We are still concerned that there is no closure to the problems in the Gibbons, Wilcox and Chancery Lane area with the leakage of fuel that affected production in that area,” Jones reported.“That is why we are still concerned and even though we know people continue to work to bring that to a close, we need to have closure sooner than later.”Opposition member Rawle Eastmond called for an assurance that farmers in the affected area would get assistance from the Government.Both Jones and Eastmond made their comment while the House debated a move to validate a 1999 rebate to farmers who import agro-processing machinery. (TY)