Jamaican Spills Linked to Bunkering Operations in Kingston Harbour

Friday December 30, 2016

Jamaica's National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) says initial investigations hasve shown that oil spills that occurred last month in Kingston Harbour have been linked to bunkering operations, local media reports.

NEPA says that of the three spills that occurred from November 24 to 26, two have been linked to bunkering activities, while the third spill has been traced to a land-based facility.

"An oil sheen as a result of the incidents covered an area of approximately 27 km2 of the harbour extending to the shoreline of the Palisadoes," stated NEPA, adding: "a post monitoring assessment on  December 2, indicated that no oil sheen was observed in the harbour."

It is noted that such pollution into any harbour constitutes a criminal offence in Jamaica, with the Natural Resources Conservation Authority entitled to recover any costs incurred during abatement of spill impacts, among other actions.

NEPA's initial ecological assessment is reported to have determined the value of ecological damage associated with these spills, with related legal action against the parties alleged to be responsible said to have commenced.