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GPL oil spill pollutes Demerara River; EPA begins probe

Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency , Dr. Vincent Adams.

An oil spill  from Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) Kingston Power Complex in Georgetown has also leaked into the Demerara River  and a clean-up has since begun, the power company said.

“A small amount of the spill seeped into the Demerara River,” the power company said in a statement.

Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dr. Vincent Adams said the State’s environmental watchdog only learned of the spill from a notification by the Maritime Administration (MARAD). He said the EPA has started an investigation that includes the use of drones.

GPL did not quantify the amount of fuel that was stored at the time and how much leaked , but sought to assure the public that GPL’s efforts to contain the spill have thus far proven successful.

The power company says since the discovery, GPL’s personnel fast-tracked  industry standard safety, health and environmental procedures to contain the spill.

GPL says a thorough investigation will be conducted to prevent a recurrence.

The EPA boss does not believe that GPL has an environmental permit to store fuel, but he stayed clear of blaming the power company for that. Instead, he attributed that to a possible oversight or lax enforcement of the rules in the past. “We are gonna have to treat them just as everybody else,” he added.

In the absence of a permit, Adams remarked that there was no condition that GPL should have complied with.