NEMO, WASCO collaborate on disposal of oil waste
Friday, May 31, 2019
by GIS

The Water and Sewerage Company (WASCO) Ltd is currently working with the National Emergency Management Organization for immediate remedial measures following the discovery of the illegal disposal of oil sludge at the WASCO Treatment Plant at Beausejour.

An investigation was conducted on Monday, May 27, by the Environmental Health Department where it was discovered that a significant quantity of oil had been disposed of at the plant. According to Acting Chief Environmental Health Officer Parker Ragnanan, an overflow of oil was found toward the bottom of one of WASCO’s sludge pits facing the Darren Sammy Cricket Grounds. A significant quantity of oil appeared to have emanated from WASCO’s Sewage Treatment Plant, vegetation in that area facing the stadium was covered with black oil. Oil seepage was also observed near the ravine next to the cricket grounds. A large fish kill was also observed in the ravine as a result of oil the spill.

The National Oil Spill Committee of NEMO will be spearheading the clean-up at the WASCO Treatment Plant to ensure that the area is brought back to its original state. The Committee has also advised WASCO on an appropriate contractor to deal with such spillage. According to the Chairman of the National Oil Spill Committee, Christopher Alexander, WASCO has agreed to submit to NEMO a plan of action for the clean-up procedures.

“The oil spills committee will also have a monitoring team through various agencies to monitor the clean-up being undertaken by the team contracted by WASCO. We are also admonishing persons who bring waste to the facility that no oil sludge or solid waste should be brought to the facility.”

The Committee has agreed to monitor the situation for a period of at least three months to ensure that the oil being removed is buried on site. WASCO has assured the Committee that it will implement measures to monitor the trucks which enter the facility.

NEMO is imploring users of the Plant to be conscious of any actions that can have negative effects on the environment. Disposal of garbage, oil sludge and similar waste materials are not permitted. Companies who need guidance on such disposal are advised to seek the assistance of the Solid Waste Management Authority and the Environmental Health Division.