By DANA SMITH
Tribune Staff Reporter
FOLLOWING reports of a “huge oil spill” in the Clifton area near the BEC power plant, BEC chairman Leslie Miller pointed out that there are several companies in that area that could be responsible for the spill.
A concerned employee of Stuart Coves’ Dive Bahamas had contacted The Tribune on Tuesday and said he was taking customers out that afternoon when he noted the water was dark and murky with oil.
“It was right outside the BEC plant,” he said. He said it appeared that the oil was coming from BEC’s Clifton Pier Diesel Power Plant.
However, Mr Miller pointed out there are several different companies in that area that could be leaking oil – not just BEC.
He also spoke of a potential million-dollar clean-up plan.
“It’s amazing. They continue to blame BEC,” Mr Miller said. “You have Esso, you have Shell, you have Texaco. We have found in our independent analysis, that a company did for us from the United States, that all of those companies are leaking fuel into the waterline not just BEC – all of them. So this thing with just blaming BEC because it’s a public entity, it’s unfair and it’s unwarranted.”
Mr Miller said oil has been leaking into Clifton waters for decades, but BEC is now doing its part to mitigate the affects of any oil leakage on its part.
“That has been happening for the last 40 years, this is nothing new, but we are remedying it now,” Mr Miller said. “We have already went out for bids to have a wall installed on BEC premises so that the oil won’t seep out into the waterline because that’s our water and we are concerned about the ecology of the Bahamas.”
However, he again stressed its “not only BEC” who has to worry about the effects of oil leakage and BEC has reached out to other companies about an oil clean-up of the area.
“Interestingly enough, when we have discussions with the other oil companies, none of them want to take responsibility. Now if you have got three entities right next to each other, how the hell do you figure it’s only BEC? How you figure that?
“It stands to reason that all parties are joined in that effort to try to do the clean-up and we are hoping we can get them on board with us to put some of the finances – because this thing is going to cost about $3 million, and we’re not going to foot that bill on our own.
“And there are things we can do to force them to assist us in cleaning up the environment that they have impacted on. (It’s) not only BEC, it’s all of them, it’s all of us – four of us that have done the damage that is done out there – not just BEC.”
BEC public relations and corporate programmes officer Arnette Ingraham had said on Tuesday, the corporation had no knowledge of any spill at their Clifton location.
She explained the oil could have come from a ship or even another company in the area.