[Bermuda] Rubis: too early to assess size of gasoline leak

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[Bermuda] Rubis: too early to assess size of gasoline leak

Unread post by bimjim » Fri Mar 31, 2017

http://www.royalgazette.com/news/articl ... oline-leak

[Bermuda] Rubis: too early to assess size of gasoline leak
Paul Johnston Simon Jones
Mar 31, 2017

Rubis said it was too early to tell how much gasoline was released in a leak at their St George’s terminal earlier this week.

In a statement sent to The Royal Gazette last night, the company said that an “accurate estimate” of how much gasoline was released and a timeline for the clean-up was “not available”.

According to Rubis, the leak was detected in piping to a storage tank at the Ferry Road facility on Monday night.

“We immediately put into action our spill response plan to stop the leak and work with authorities to begin clean-up,” the statement said. The company said the tank was contained within a “protective berm”.

“The release posed no disruption in supplies to customers and no immediate threat to workers or neighbouring properties,” the company said.

“However, to help assure public safety, we are working with the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources to further assess how soil, air, and groundwater may have been affected and what additional clean-up actions are needed.”

The statement comes after a well-placed source said the size of the spill was more than 22,000 gallons. The source — who spoke with The Royal Gazette yesterday afternoon on the condition of anonymity — also said several hours passed from the time when the leak was first detected by the company until the Government was notified.

The Ministry of the Environment said it was informed of a “fuel tank breach” at the Rubis facility in a release issued on Tuesday.

Information on when the leak was reported to the Government was not provided.

Multiple requests for comment sent to Environment Minister Sylvan Richards’ media representative yesterday asking about the size of the spill and when the Government was notified were not responded to by publication deadline.

In a statement released earlier this week, the Minister said he had visited the site on Tuesday.

“There appears to be no immediate health and safety risk,” he said on Wednesday.

Mr Richards said that Rubis had a team of environmental specialists arriving to deal with any damage caused by the spill. Government environment experts were also assisting with “pollution-control efforts”.

Nandi Outerbridge, MP for St George’s West, confirmed to The Royal Gazette on Wednesday that the leak had been stopped. A date and time for the stoppage was not provided.

Ms Outerbridge said she would be in the area this weekend speaking with constituents.

Stuart Hayward, from the Bermuda Environmental and Sustainability Taskforce, complained about the “inadequate” information provided to the public after the spill.

Mr Hayward said that more details of the nature of the fault — as well as the extent of the spill — should have been disclosed.

“The information made available to the public about this spill has been inadequate,” he said.

“The authorities did not have to go into lots of detail but they should have explained what happened and why the experts needed to be brought in. That would have gone a long way to reassuring neighbours and residents.

“Transparency in a case like this benefits all parties,” Mr Hayward said.

Earlier this week, Graham Redford, managing director at Rubis, said that properties near the facility would be visited to identify “potential issues”.

On Wednesday, one area establishment told The Royal Gazette that they had been advised not to use their well, and to report any smell of gasoline.

Yesterday, one Echo Lane resident confirmed that they had received a call informing them about the leak. “The sooner that the story is provided to the public, the better,” Mr Hayward said.

“We should have been told what kind of leak this was; whether it was a tank or a pipe that broke, and whether the fuel has gone overboard into the sea.”

Rubis said it was committed to “swiftly addressing” the incident and that it appreciated the patience of neighbours as they installed equipment needed for “monitoring and clean-up”.

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