CZMU monitors beach after spill

The agency responsible for the conservation and management of the island’s coastal zone and its resources said it would look out for signs of environmental damage from an oil spill on Sherman’s Beach, St Lucy.

The Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU) said it was also assessing the possible impact in order to prepare a plan to mitigate any damage.

The oil washed up on the beach yesterday following an incident at the Arawak Cement company’s jetty.

While a team from the company engaged in a cleanup operation today, the CZMU’s Acting Director Antonio Rowe said management of the impact would depend on a number of factors, including the amount of oil in the water.

Meantime, Arawak Cement company executive Matthew Thornhill explained that during the removal of an old oil line at the plant’s jetty yesterday, a section of it accidentally fell into the sea, causing the spill.

An Arawak Cement plant clean up crew was on the affected beach site from early morning.
An Arawak Cement plant clean up crew was on the affected beach site from early morning.

He said a ship docked nearby contained most of the oil, but some of it floated out to sea.

Initial reports indicated that the oil on the beach was of a different quality and did not match the oil from Arawak’s inactive line, strongly suggesting that there was another source.

“We did not wait to assess whether the oil on the beach was caused by the incident at our jetty but were keen on minimizing any impact that may have been caused by ensuring that there was quick cleanup of the beach.

“We are happy to state that there is no visible sign of oil on the beach or on the water,” Thornhill added.

He added that together with the authorities, the company would continue to monitor the environment for signs of damage.

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