Fri | Sep 21, 2018

Heavy rains blamed for Kingston Harbour oil spill

Published:Thursday | September 4, 2014 | 1:02 PM

Karlene Brown, Assistant News Editor - Radio

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) says this week’s Kingston Harbour oil slick was caused by contaminants from Petrojam.

According to NEPA, heavy rains over the past week washed the contaminants from a previous spill at the Petrojam facility into the harbour.

Manager for the Agency’s Pollution Prevention Branch, Dr Kerrine Senior says while the oil is harmful, given the concentrations released, its impact on marine life has been reduced.

Senior says Petrojam has been instructed to make changes to its barrier system to collect the oil.

However, she says if more rains come, its possible for a similar spill to occur.

Senior says Petrojam is expected to clear the slick within the next few days.

In the meantime, NEPA says based on preliminary findings, the recent fish kill in Hunts Bay, St Catherine is as a result of the wash down of a substance into this area following the recent rains.

The Agency was alerted to the incident on Monday, September 1 following reports by local fishermen of a brown semi-solid substance being washed up along the coast.

A NEPA team inspected the area and observed dead marine life along the coast.

The agency says water samples were collected and sent to the NEPA laboratory for testing.

Those results are expected next week.

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