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Island ready for any oil spill

marciadottin, [email protected]

Island ready for any oil spill

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Barbadians need not fear – the private and public sectors can deal with any oil spill that dumps up to 20 000 gallons of fuel oil on these shores.
The Environmental Protection Department, Coast Guard, Fire Service and Esso, Sol, and Texaco – the oil companies that operate here – all under the auspices of the Barbados National Oil Spill Response Committee, conducted a simulation exercise over the last two days on the coastline of Barbados that has been hailed as a success.
When all of the “oil” had been retrieved, both country manager of Esso Standard Oil, Cally Boyea, and chairman of the national oil spill response committee, Anthony Headley, said the various agencies were capable of dealing with a Tier 2 spill, which involves up to 20 000 gallons or 476 barrels of oil.
It does not end there. Speaking at a Press briefing yesterday morning at Coast Guard headquarters, Boyea said his company had the regional and international resources to battle a Tier 3 oil spill, noting he could call on a 50-man backup regional team.
Boyea noted that Esso was a member of the Clean Caribbean Cooperative (CCC), an organisation which has stockpiled millions of dollars in related equipment in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“We can get CCC to fly in millions of dollars equipment and to make that kind of connection work, it is important we do this kind of rehearsal,” he said.
Esso, Shell, Sol, Texaco, Barbados National Oil Company, all fall under the Marine Oil Spill Action Plan (MOSAP) and Boyea said he was pleased that the private sector and public sector had come together to form such a vital partnership.
Headley said the exercise was designed to test the oil spill contingency plan, the communications system, the response time relating to the mobilisation of equipment and “most importantly to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the members of the Barbados national response team to ensure that there is a smooth transition in the functioning of that team during an incident”. (MK)