StatiaNews has issued a press release with some more information on the recent oil spill:
Dear Statianews reader,
Last week you recieved the press release about the oilspill. Here are 3 articles as they appeared in the Daily Herald about this occurance. The picture in the attachment was made Oct 20 by Walter Hellebrand. Thank you for reading Statianews. www.statianews.com.
MORE QUESTIONS FOR LT. GOVERNOR BERKEL
(Daily Herald Oct.23) ST. EUSTATIUS–Island Governor Gerald Berkel, who is also chairman of the island’s Disaster Committee, has announced that an investigation is ongoing into the oil spill that happened on Saturday morning, October 20, due to a ruptured hose at NuStar, Statia Terminal’s docking facility.
In response to a number of questions submitted by The Daily Herald’s correspondent in Statia, Berkel also announced that he expected inspectors and other professionals from Holland to join the local team engaged in ﬁ nding out exactly what happened. They will assist in any investigations that need to be carried out and will complete and submit a report. He said the oil spill ﬁrst had been observed around 4:45am and then reported to the Harbourmaster, but “the exact time of the rupture has not been determined.” The time lines on all sides will have to be reviewed to come up with a ﬁnal report. The Governor also explained that routine checks were recorded in maintenance logs. Responding to a question about the approach to the cleaning up of the spill, the governor explained that there were two methods for dispersing “sheen” oil.
“The ﬁrst is with the use of water itself, which simulates rain and causes sheen to evaporate and disperse. The other is collection or skimming of oil, which is done for the heavier concentrations of oil,” he explained.
“Here, absorbent material is dropped into the affected area and removed and discarded or, if the area permits, the thicker concentrations are literally skimmed off the top of the water, as oil generally ﬂoats.” He said, “The cleaning of boats and other areas affected with oil was done with the use of industrial-grade soap.”
The oil spill resulted in approximately two metric tons of heavy fuel oil in Tumbling Down Dick Bay. Stenapa has not issued any information to the public as yet.
SP ASKS QUESTIONS IN DUTCH SECOND CHAMBER ABOUT OIL SPILL
(Daily Herald Oct.24)
THE HAGUE–The Socialist Party (SP) in the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament wants clarity from the Dutch Government about the recent oil spill in St. Eustatius.
Member of Parliament Henk van Gerven, the SP’s spokesman on environmental affairs, on Tuesday posed written questions to Dutch caretaker State Secretary of Infrastructure and Environment Joop Atsma based on reports in The Daily Herald that some two metric tonnes heavy fuel were spilled in Statia’s waters on Saturday due to a ruptured hose.
Van Gerven wanted to know which environmental and safety requirements Statia’s oil terminal NuStar has to comply with. “How will you prevent that unique and fragile nature is being threatened and destructed? Are you willing to do the max to prevent the destruction of coral reefs?” The MP asked who would pay for the cost of cleaning the oil spill and the recovery of nature and the cultural, historical value of the area, as well as the cost of deploying personnel of the Dutch Department of Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat). And, how much will NuStar contribute, he asked.
According to Van Gerven it is “very illogical” to have oil terminal facilities in an area “this unique and fragile.” He wanted to know if based on the current rules and regulations NuStar would have received a permit to operate the facility. Van Gerven wanted to know who was in charge of supervising and making sure that NuStar complied with all rules and regulations, and how often this had been checked in the last two years. Finally, he asked if there were possibilities to relocate the oil storage facilities.
NUSTAR STATEMENT ABOUT OIL SPILL
(daily Herald Oct 25) ST. EUSTATIUS–NuStar Statia Terminal docking facility has released a statement regarding the oil spill that occurred early Saturday morning, October 20. “This past weekend it appears that a third-party boat damaged a submersible hose used to load fuel oil onto and off of barges at a dock at NuStar’s St. Eustatius Terminal,” the statement read. “This led to a fuel oil release, and NuStar is pleased to report that the water cleanup around St. Eustatius appears to be complete. We are continuing to monitor the waters around Statia and the surrounding areas and we have the manpower and resources to take immediate action if any residual fuel oil is found.”
Upon discovering the release Saturday morning, NuStar’s employees quickly implemented containmentand cleanup efforts. Coast Guard, Island Disaster Committee and other local ofﬁcials supported and
assisted in the response effort. “Our ﬁrst guiding principle is to be a safe and responsible operator, and we will continue to investigate this incident thoroughly and take steps to ensure that such an incident does not occur again,” the statement concluded.