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Thursday 27 June 2019
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No foul scent, but water tables could be compromised in Point


SOURCES at Petrotrin say they are not claiming responsibility for an emission which pervaded the atmosphere at Point Fortin on Tuesday and caused schools to be dismissed early and several businesses to close operations prematurely, just yet.

Petrotrin officials said on Wednesday, the site of the possible source of the emission is an area where waste is supposed to be remediated and which is located near to one of their installations. The source of the untreated waste in that particular site has reportedly been traced to a company operating in the area. However, there is not 100 per cent confirmation that site was the source of Tuesday’s emission.

A high-powered meeting was held at the Point Fortin Borough Corporation, on Wednesday to discuss the emission. Officials from Petrotrin, the Environmental Management Authority (EMA), representatives from the police and fire services as well as the Mayor of Point Fortin Abdon Mason and members of the Disaster Management Unit (DMU) met for an update and a site visit to the possible source of the stench.

The team also visited a large landfill site, which resembles a huge lake and in which a mixture of oil, slush and other chemicals were evident. There was also a putrid scent emanating, an official said.

While the scent was absent in the Borough yesterday, officials said what they saw raises new concern about the contamination of their water supply.

A suggestion was made to the EMA to conduct water quality testing because the water table is very high in Point Fortin and that could reach into the water table. Officials said an investigation is continuing and the EMA would talk to companies in the area which conduct bio remediation work to establish who is responsible for dumping the waste in an open area.

There has been no offical response from either Petrotrin or the EMA, in spite of requests.

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