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Noxious-fume report to be ready by month end

Published: Monday November 19, 2012 | 1:16 pm Comments 0
The Petrojam oil refinery in Kingston - file photo.
The Petrojam oil refinery in Kingston - file photo.

The General Manager of Petrojam, Winston Watson says the company is hoping to submit its report to the energy minister by month end about what exactly happened last Wednesday, when noxious fumes were released from its refinery.

Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell has directed the company to undertake a probe into the incident.

The environment minister, Robert Pickersgill has asked the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) to investigate why the incident was not reported by Petrojam as is required.

However, Watson said as far as he is aware his team met with NEPA on the day of the incident.

He said he was out of the country but he is trying to get all the facts about what transpired.

On Wednesday, a number of persons complained about feeling ill as a result of the odour in the vicinity of the Spanish Town and Hagley Park roads in St Andrew.

Petrojam has written to NEPA indicating that during site clean-up operations the liquid contents of a five gallon plastic pail were released on to the ground.

The energy minister has expressed grave concern about what he says is the safety and security practices at Petrojam, noting that is the second time in six months that noxious fumes have been released from the refinery.

The first incident happened in June and affected operations at the Portmore toll plaza.

In the meantime, NEPA’s CEO, Peter Knight is maintaining that Petrojam never reported the incident as is required to the monitoring agency.

The Director of Legal Services and Enforcement at NEPA, Robert Collie, said the agency is in the process of preparing an enforcement notice to send off to Petrojam.

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