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The Nation Newspaper: Concern over oil in well

From The Nation Newspaper

This well in Scarborough reeked of fuel vapours, a sample which was taken to show to the Press.

Published on: 1/4/08.

THE APPEARANCE of a substance suspected to be kerosene oil in a freshly dug well in Oistins, Christ Church, has refuelled concerns of the Southern Farmers Group about leakage from an abandoned Shell Oil Company pipeline.

“This is not just a Southern Farmers’ problem,” president of the group Jacquelyn Bartlett told the Press yesterday at Scarborough in Christ Church. “This is a national problem that could adversely affect our tourism and fishing industries.”

The 12-foot well was dug by the Urban Development Commission.

The Southern Farmers Group believes the substance found there is seepage from the pipeline and appealed to Government to settle the 13-year-old dispute about damage to the environment.

They lit a sample of the substance to prove its flammability.

However, public relations consultant for Shell, Carol Smith, told the WEEKEND NATION the aviation pipeline was “decommissioned” in 2006, evacuated and concrete filled and could no longer be associated with leakage.

Shell formerly transported aviation fuel from a terminal at Oistins to Grantley Adams International Airport and in 1995 accepted liability for leakage in the Gibbons Boggs area in Christ Church.

The farmers are yet to be compensated for damage to their lands.

They now contend the surrounding natural environment, including potable water, the popular Miami Beach and the wider open sea could be seriously damaged.

Spokesperson for the group, Arrindel Evelyn said: “As far as evidence from testing done by Shell and BADMC (Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation), they realise that the oil was moving out of the agricultural zone and into the coastal zone region. This is now developing into an ecological problem that would affect our fishery and tourism industry.”

Owner of Peach and Quiet Hotel in Inch Marlow, Adrian Loveridge, who was on hand, also expressed distress on the findings.

“As the kerosene is spreading there is danger of it going into the sea, killing the marine life and affecting tourism, which we’re dependent on. It’s a case of stopping it now before it gets out of hand.”

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