Thu | Apr 26, 2018

Another gas leak probe

Published:Sunday | November 25, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Erica Virtue, Senior Gleaner writer

The management of IGL Limited has moved to allay fears that members of the public are at risk due to a liquid ammonia spill which took place at its Ferry Plant in St Catherine about 7:15 p.m. last Friday.

With reports on the social media about several persons, including members of a police team, being forced to seek medical attention after being exposed to the fumes, the company yesterday said all is now well because of its quick response to contain the spill.

"In fact, there have been no reports of serious injuries," said IGL, which said it reported the matter to the authorities and temporarily suspended filling operations at its ammonia facility to carry out internal investigations.

But that has not stopped the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) from launching its probe.

Notified within 15 minutes

"I haven't received a report on the matter yet, but I am advised that the agencies were notified of the leak within 15 minutes of it happening by the facility itself, which also said what gas was involved. They also sent in a preliminary report on the matter as well," Natalie Fearon, publication relations officer of NEPA, told The Sunday Gleaner.

Fearon said following the clean-up and initial investigations on Friday, a NEPA team was again sent to the site yesterday and was satisfied that the spill was contained.

According to Fearon, the Natural Resources Conservation Authority Act provides a permission licensing regimen, which requires facilities undertaking a range of commercial activities to apply for a permit.

However, some facilities predated the 1997 licensing requirement and do not require a permit or to report.

It is not yet clear if IGL is one of those entities which do not require a permit to operate.