The National Environment and Planning Agency’s (NEPA) says its investigation into an oil spill in the Bog Walk area of St Catherine, has identified the source of the leak as a malfunctioning boiler from the old Jamaica Beverage Plant.
The plant, it said, is now owned now and operated by Trade Winds Citrus Limited.
NEPA said that facility has the required bunding in place to contain the oil, however, the leak that occurred last weekend was from the defective boiler.
Drone shot taken on Friday showing Rio Cobre with oil sheen as it confluence with Rio D’oro, Rio Pedro and the Thomas River before entering the gorge. (Photo: NEPA)
At this point, NEPA said it is unable to quantify the volume of heavy fuel oil that has escaped.
Nevertheless, it said its intervention involved engaging the assistance of Petrojam Limited in providing booms, absorbent pads and substances to break down the oil, as well as technical advice for the clean-up exercise.
Black oil seen on Friday accumulated under culvert in drain on Trade Wind Citrus property. NEPA said the drain leads directly to Rio Cobre. (Photo: NEPA)
“So far, a good portion of the oil has been removed from the environment while some has been contained in drains,” NEPA said in a release on Friday.
“Unfortunately, there is some amount of oil sheen visible on the water surface stretching from the boom to Bog Walk. As such, NEPA is advising resource users of the river, including fisherfolk and recreational and domestic users, to be mindful of oil traces and to exercise caution,” NEPA added.
Oil in the vicinity of the boom, which was placed across river upstream of the railway bridge in Bog Walk, St Catherine. (Photo: NEPA)
NEPA also said it has served enforcement notice on Trade Winds Limited to clean up and remediate the immediate environment of the oil spill.
It said, too, that further enforcement, to include legal action against the company, will follow.