Island Governor and Chairman of the Disaster Committee Gerald Berkel informed the media on Wednesday, of the findings of safety
experts from The Netherlands concerning the October 20 oil spill at NuStar Statia Terminal.
After reviewing all relevant documentation and having conducted site visits, the experts flown in from The Netherlands had concluded that the oil spill had occurred as a result of a ruptured hose at the terminal’s docking facility. The rupture caused an oil
spill of about four square kilometres in Statia waters, and could be categorised as a “tier-one spill,” Governor Berkel said.
The findings from surveys and inspection of the coastlines and other affected areas concluded that the cleanup efforts have been
successful, according to the governor. “Local environmental organisations in both Saba and St. Eustatius and Islands Harbour Authorities will continue to monitor these nature sensitive areas in the weeks and months ahead,” Berkel said.
As required by the maritime permit under which NuStar currently operates, a “root-cause analysis” is being conducted, which should indicate in detail why this failure took place and what steps can and will be taken to prevent reoccurrence in the future. In addition to the inspection of the incident, a general inspection of NuStar’s seaside structures was conducted. In the coming weeks inspectors will evaluate their findings and will provide feedback to both NuStar and the Island Government, it was said.
As for the response and mobilization, it was concluded that although notices, updates and information reached the designated parties as outlined in the emergency response protocols, a review of these protocols and procedures was still deemed necessary.
The Dutch Department of Waterways (Rijkswaterstaat) is also looking into the possibility to provide additional expertise to support
Bonaire, Saba and Statia in future emergency situations through regional organisations with expertise in this area, it was also stated.
Source: The Daily Herald, November 2, 2012