DRA: Abaco debris site will soon be ‘demobilised’ amid environmental concerns

Clouds of smoke block the sun coming from the debris site outside of Treasure Cay, as seen from a distance.

Clouds of smoke block the sun coming from the debris site outside of Treasure Cay, as seen from a distance.

Abaco fire 2


Tribune Staff Reporter


DISASTER Reconstruction Authority executive chairman Alex Storr said the DRA would “demobilise” the Abaco Spring City and Treasure Cay debris management sites.

However, the timeline is unclear. 

Mr Storr’s comment came after a bush fire over the weekend spread to the Treasure Cay debris site, sending toxic fumes billowing into the air, frustrating weary residents.

“We found out that both sites — Treasure Cay and Spring City — were hastily put together,” Mr Storr said. “There was no membrane put down, and there (are issues with) the water table so we are having these demobilised as soon as possible.”  

“We have a contract that we’re waiting approval from Cabinet to execute on Treasure Cay that was in place and negotiated a few weeks ago. So that would hopefully be in place within a matter of days and that contractor will then begin.”  

Mr Storr admitted the dump sites are too dangerous.

“I know there may have been a fire at Spring City a few months ago,” he said, “and the contractor moved to have that eradicated quickly, and that is the importance of having a contractor in place at Treasure Cay that would prevent these things.”  

“And that’s why they are being deconstructed and (demobilised), and that debris will be moved to other debris sites managed by environmental health, but to leave them the way they are is too dangerous, and some of the shanty towns are feeding off of them.” 

“We have issues with the new storm season coming up. We don’t want debris distributed amongst the island again should we have a hurricane pass over the island and then there’s the fact, like I said, that there weren’t proper environmental protections put in place and we need to get those to be from where they are to where they can be properly maintained.”  

After the most recent fire, Abaco Chamber of Commerce president Daphne DeGregory-Miaoulis released a statement on Sunday accusing successive administrations of ignoring the issue.

“We warned of exactly this kind of situation occurring, which is likely to have a serious, negative affect on residents’ respiratory health along with unknown damage to the Abaco water well field located less than a mile from the fire,” she said.  

“Successive governments are ignoring the issue to the detriment of people’s health, safety and living. We call for immediate response from government to deal with this issue and a similar one also brewing at the Spring City Debris Management Site near Marsh Harbour.” 

For his part, Central and South Abaco MP John Pinder blamed the Minnis administration for the problem yesterday, accusing it of choosing the wrong locations as debris management sites and not correctly managing the Treasure Cay site. 

“This administration, this Davis-led administration, is coming up with plans to demobilise and to dismantle them, but it is a huge problem that was put there without consultation with the Abaconians, and now we are trying to come up with a safe and proper plan to dismantle them,” he said.  


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