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The Nation Newspaper, Barbados: Shell will ‘act responsibly’

Published on: 6/18/06.

ANDREW HART,

Shell’s Country Chairman for the East Caribbean
MR JAMES PAUL in a statement in the Press last week, said that Shell Antilles & Guianas Ltd should be asked to underwrite the cost of a proper environmental clean-up of agricultural land at Gibbons Boggs, Christ Church. The Nation Newspaper, Barbados

Mr Paul was responding to a protest by some farmers in that area.

As the country chairman for the East Caribbean, I can assure that Shell will act responsibly with respect to the farmers as well as to the environment.

Shell is committed to the protection of the farmer’s livelihood, and has ensured that actions continue to be taken to ensure that no contaminated water is delivered to the farmer’s fields. This includes working with the authorities to introduce alternative clean water supplies into the irrigation system for the Gibbons Boggs area.

We also have an ongoing product recovery programme in place, in order to clean the affected wells.

Shell is also committed to the protection of the environment. We have carried out investigations in the Gibbons area, and contrary to the recent report carried in the Press, results have indicated that the remaining oil is not an imminent threat to the coastal zone.

Shell has had continuous dialogue with the relevant authorities, including the Coastal Zone Management Unit, to ensure that they are all kept up to date on these matters.

This aviation pipeline has been out of service since the new Barbados National Terminal Company Ltd. pipeline was commissioned earlier in 2006, and the remaining product in the pipeline, and the Oistins storage terminal, will be removed in the coming weeks.

Shell has submitted to the relevant authorities a proposal for carrying out a final and comprehensive impact study, and consequent remediation plan. We have been awaiting approval of that plan, so that we can proceed with its implementation.

We understand and share the concerns of the farmers and all of the other stakeholders in this matter, but must act within the mandate given to us by the relevant authorities.

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