Letter: Another 'unreported', 'insignificant' Petrotrin oil spill?

Letter: Another 'unreported', 'insignificant' Petrotrin oil spill?

Dear Sir:

It has been reported by various media publications, that on Tuesday, August 1, 2017, oil deposits washed ashore on the coastlines of Point Sable and Carat Shed Beaches in La Brea, Trinidad.


Admittedly this spill is much smaller than the now infamous “300 barrel” April 23, 2017, Tank 70 rupture in which 125,000 barrels are unaccounted for. But how much was this spill? Where did the oil come from? Up till now, Petrotrin is silent on the source, volume of the oil deposits and its associated risks it poses on the nearby communities and fisheries. What is being used to clean up this oil spill? More COREXIT dispersants?

Disasters such as the December 2013 eleven oil spills and the April 23, 2017, Tank 70 rupture have a long lasting impact on the livelihoods of fisher folk, and health of the fisheries. These effects continue to be seen and felt even after 44 months of the 11 oil spills in 2013, as over 20 species of dead fish and dying shrimp continue to wash ashore daily in Point Sable Beach, La Brea.

Why is Alvin La Borde, the president of La Brea Fisher Folk Association, downplaying this August 1, 2017, oil spill and stating “it wasn’t anything big”? He knows the danger and risks of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) cancer causing compounds, which are found in high quantities in crude oil and it is his community and fisheries that are being affected the most by these oil spills.

Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) reminds Mr La Borde that every drop of crude oil in the ocean has an everlasting impact on the fishery.

With the undocumented and unreported leakages, there are continuous leaks and spills occurring month by month, year after year. Shouldn’t there be environmental transparency and accountability instead of secrecy?

Why is there this secrecy regarding environmental transparency and auditing of Petrotrin’s failed management model.

Gary Aboud
Corporate Secretary
Fishermen and Friends of the Sea
Port of Spain