Mitigate Oil Pollution - Waterkeeper

Mitigate Oil Pollution

By: Guest Contributor

Equinor oil pollution in field.|

By Save the Bays. Reposted with permission from Save the Bays

As our islands become more populated, the demand for energy increases, however, this should be done with full accountability to our environment by those companies providing power and fuel to our Islands.

Development and industry are essential for jobs and our economy, but we have to ensure that growth is sustainable and environmentally responsible. The Bahamas currently does not have a statutory body created by legislation to ensure proper oversight and regulation of the industries that impact our environment. That said, Save the Bays advocates for the immediate passage of an Environmental Protection Act by the Bahamian Government.

Currently, there are two examples of issues on New Providence Island include issues of oil seepage and spills from Bahamas Power and Light, a government-run electric company.

Bahamas Power and Light (BPL), formerly known as Bahamas Electricity Corporation owns the major power plant at Clifton Pier on New Providence Island. BPL has made accommodations by building a containment area to act as a barrier for the occurrences of hot water and oil runoffs into Clifton Bay, but it’s not enough. Our waters are being impacted by the facility’s continual occurrence of crude oil and waste oil from the plant spilling into our precious waters. Hot water from the plant makes its way into the water, causing dramatic shifts in water temperature, negatively affecting our local marine life, fish, flora, and fauna. Such spills and hot water runoffs place tremendous pressure on the surrounding reefs.

Additionally, the number of tankers off-loading fuel at Clifton Pier dock in Nassau, New Providence is also increasing. It is important to ensure that the tankers properly evacuate their lines before disconnecting to reduce fuel spillage.

Save The Bays is advocating for the immediate passage of an Environmental Protection Act to hold polluters accountable for detrimental impacts on our shared land and marine resources. We suggest that the Bahamian government should have monitoring systems in place as well as public advisories of possible oil spills in that area which is visited by tourists for the lovely coral reefs and beaches.

RECENT SPILLS: The Equinor Oil Spill

5,000,000 Gallons of oil spilled over Grand Bahama’s delicate pine forest