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PLP RESPONDS ON THE RUBIS OIL SPILL REPORT

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discount viagra viagra times;”>PLP RESPONDS ON THE RUBIS OIL SPILL REPORT

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decease times;”> image009Nassau, Bahamas – Statement by Bradley B. Roberts, National Chairman Progressive Liberal Party: 

In the wake of the positive report from the Marathon community health investigation that revealed no indication of current exposure to or long-term risks to the health and safety of the residents of Marathon, the PLP is happy for the good people of Marathon and thanks them for their patience and cooperation during the fairly comprehensive health screening process.

Some 223 persons were screened and all of the test results came back negative for exposure to the harmful chemicals contained in motor gasoline.

We also thank the government’s team of health professionals led by Health Minister Dr. Perry Gomez, Permanent Secretary Marco Rolle; Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Glen Beneby; the Department of Health and the staff of the community clinic operations. 

The government and especially the Department of Environmental Health Services (DEHS); its Environmental Monitoring and Risk Assessment Division (EMRAD) and the BEST Commission are to be commended for taking immediate actions to ensure that the leak was repaired and to mitigate environmental and health risks upon learning of the spill. Actions taken included an assessment and evaluation of the population in the immediate area of the Rubis Fuel leak in the Marathon estates area, adjacent to the Rubis Gas Station; that area was the focus of the oil spill by the Department of Public Health.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) played a critical consultative role in this process by securing the relevant experts in the persons of Dr. Van de Weerdt, Toxicologist and Dr. Moores, Epidemiologist who ensured that a comprehensive and professional approach to international standards were taken to protect the health and welfare of the Bahamian public. I thank the PAHO Permanent Representative Dr. Gerry Eijkemans for her support, wise consultations and full engagement in this project.

Marathon Member of Parliament, the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald and Minister for the Environment, Hon. Kenred Dorsett played significant roles in leadership, communications and environmental legislative and policy support during this process and are to be commended for being proactive.

Last but not least is the yeoman’s effort of the Water and Sewerage Corporation that tested the suspected wells and transferred the water supply from private wells to the corporation’s water supply.

The opposition is roundly condemned for opportunistically using this unfortunate event to serve their narrow political interests. The FNM rally Dr. Minnis and his operatives organized in the Marathon constituency was a national disgrace. To date the FNM has disrespectfully failed to address the concerns expressed by the residents that leaks have occurred at that location as early as 1993 according to the Black and Veatch report. The FNM was the government at the time.

In stark contrast, the record is clear that during this incident the PLP government acted in the best interest of the Bahamian people.

“There is also no evidence that health issues in Marathon residents are a direct result of the spill” said Dr. Gomez at a press conference on Monday. “There is no significant difference in the incidence of health issues in this area of the country than any other area of the population.

“This update demonstrates our commitment to give our citizens the information they need and deserve. We know this has been and continues to be a very difficult experience for the community, and we are working as hard as we can to fully understand and potential health risk and to make changes as to how these types of threats are managed and communicated in the future.

“Our Government is serious about protecting the health and safety of Bahamians and the Bahamian environment,” Dr. Gomez added.

 
The PLP wholeheartedly concurs with the good doctor.