A picture provided by Save The Bays purport to show leak at Clifton.
ENVIRONMENT group Save the Bays (STB) has accused the government of neglect after a representative of the group said it spotted “another large and dangerous oil leak” from the Clifton Pier Power Station causing “critical damage” to the surrounding marine environment.
“The oil slick is so vast that it can be clearly spotted from the air – as can the government’s woefully inadequate efforts at containment,” a statement from the group said. “It is clear that the rudimentary methods employed by BEC to try and hold back these toxic slicks, which emanate from the facility on a regular basis, are deplorably ineffective.
“Meanwhile, the waters of Clifton Bay, which contain some of the most sensitive and ecologically important reef systems and marine life in this area of the Bahamas – not to mention fishing grounds frequented by many who live in the surrounding communities – is being decimated at an alarming rate. The development of serious long-term health problems as a result of consuming fish caught at Clifton is now a real possibility.
“Successive governments, including the current FNM administration, are to blame for this state of affairs. Before being ousted in May of last year, the Christie administration pledged millions of dollars towards solving this decades long travesty. Yet up until election day, nothing had changed. This failure to deliver urged STB to take legal action against the former administration over oil pollution at Clifton Pier. The case is still before the courts and we plan to pursue it aggressively until the situation is resolved.”
Save the Bays said the Minnis administration has promised action on the problem, but said, based on what the group saw yesterday, this has not happened.
“While it is still early days for this government, STB reminds them that when it comes to protecting the natural resources of The Bahamas for the benefit of future generations, every minute counts. Already, irreparable harm has been done to the once pristine marine environment of Clifton Bay.
“The FNM must also appreciate that their current efforts to woo the Bahamian people regarding a newly proposed oil facility on another island can only suffer in the face of their continued unwillingness to act responsibly at Clifton. How can we trust them to protect our natural heritage in Grand Bahama when they have failed so miserably in New Providence?
“We urge the government in the possible strongest terms to move immediately and do whatever it takes to rectify this situation. In the short term, they must take urgent action to clean up this latest and most egregious spill. If international expertise and equipment is required, it should be sought immediately. In the long term, they must devote the resources and initiative necessary to wfind a lasting solution in the shortest time possible.”
Officials could not be reached for comment yesterday. Oil leaks at Clifton have been a long standing problem.