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Saturday 20 April 2019
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PATT: Not Galleons’ oil

ALTHOUGH a photo showing the Galleons Passage with an oily sheen on the water around it has been making the rounds on social media, the Port Authority of TT (PATT) says the oil is not from that boat.

In a release yesterday, the authority said oily water, silt sediment and other debris flow into the ocean through storm drains designed to prevent flooding in Port of Spain.

“The storm drains are designed for the outflow of water from the city of Port of Spain, to assist with the prevention of flooding,” the release said.

The five storm drains were listed within the areas of the Caricom Wharves, Berth #3, Berth #4, between Berth #4 and #5 and from the area of the breakfast sheds.

The authority said this issue of oil and other debris washing into the port have been ongoing for years and contractors have been hired to clean up the waterfront as a result.

“Companies have been engaged to clean up the waterfront to accommodate cruise ships and other vessels. It should be noted that it is illegal to dispose hydrocarbon waste into the drainage system as well as it is contrary to the MARPOL Convention 73/78 for ships to discharge their waste within 12 nautical miles of any port.”

Heavy rains make the situation worse and the authority said with so many smaller drains flowing into the storm drains, the source of the oil remains unknown.

But PATT also sought to reassure the public that the oil is not coming from its vessels, including the Galleons Passage.

“In the circumstances, the authority wishes to state that the existing situation is not as a result of the vessel operations. We wish to advise that the vessels, the T&T Spirit, the MV Cabo Star and the Galleons Passage have not contributed in any way to this existing situation.”

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